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RAILWAYS OF THE WORLD

AUSTRALIAN RAILWAYS - CAIRNS KURANDA RAILWAY - QUEENSLAND RAILWAYS COUNTRY LINK - CANBERRA HERITAGE RAILWAY - PUFFING BILLY RAILWAY VICTORIAN GOLDFIELDS RAILWAY - SEYMOUR TO BENALLA RAILWAY - 707 GROUP NORTH WILLIAMSTOWN RAILWAY MUSEUM

TASMANIA - DON RIVER RAILWAY - WEST COAST WILDERNESS RAILWAY
SHEFFIELD RAILWAY - HOBART TRANSPORT MUSEUM

NEW ZEALAND RAILWAYS - - AUCKLAND MUSEUM OF TRANSPORT - GLENBROOK RAILWAY MAINLINE STEAM AUCKLAND TO INVERCARGILL - PLAINS RAILWAY - PLEASANT POINT RAILWAY TAIERI GORGE RAILWAY - ARTHURS PASS RAILWAY - FERRYMEAD MUSEUM OF TRANSPORT

PERU RAILWAYS - PERURAIL - F.C.C.A. - CENTRAL RAILWAY - SOUTHERN RAILWAY
CUSCO AND SANTA ANA RAILWAY - HUANCAYO AND HUANCAVELICA RAILWAY YAURICOCHA - CERRO DE PASCO - ENAFER

ECUADOR RAILWAYS - FERROCARRILL ECUATORIANA
E.F.E. - E.N.F.E. - GUAYAQUIL & QUITO - QUITO & SAN LORENZO

IRELAND - IRISH RAIL - TRALEE AND BLENNERVILLE STEAM RAILWAY
ENGLAND - FFESTINIOG RAILWAY - GREAT ORME TRAMWAY - SCOTLAND

MOROCCO RAILWAYS - HARZER-SCHMALSPUR-BAHNEN
CZECH RAILWAYS - SLOVAK RAILWAYS - POLISH RAILWAYS - ROMANIAN RAILWAY

AFE Uruguay - URUGUAYAN STATE RAILWAYS

LINEAS FERREAS URUGUAYAS

THE PRESENT SITUATION

In January 2nd, 1988 the State Railway Administration (AFE) withdrew all train passenger services in Uruguay.

In 1993 local passenger services were reinstated on two sections of the Montevideo-Rivera main line: Tacuarembó-Rivera and Montevideo-25 de Agosto. The first service has been withdrawn since then four times, due to the inability of the state railway enterprise to reduce operating costs and increase passenger numbers, added to a wrong cost assignment that went against their economically balanced operation.

Freight trains operate in all lines of the network with the exception of branches from Salto to Artigas and Cuareim, Nico Pérez-Melo, Mal Abrigo-Colonia, Rocha-La Paloma, Florida-KM 329 and Durazno-Trinidad. Several sections of track currently in service are in good condition, and part of it has been rehabilitated in recent years, with exception of the Algorta-Fray Bentos and San Carlos-Rocha lines that are in poor condition. The sections with older rails (1889-1892) will be renewed soon with 50 kg/m rails recived from Russia between 1998 and 1999. All lines have 1435mm gauge.

The longest through lines reach an extension of about 500 to 600 km one way; the total length of the network is more than 2900 km and reach nearly all the important cities and most of the rural communities of the country whose population is around 3,5 millon.

The system of primary roads connects all major cities; however, the secondary routes vary from tarred roads to paths, most of them in poor condition and are not transitable during rainy weather.

What is LFU?

LFU is an Uruguayan-Swiss project established in 1996 in order to reintroduce rail passenger service in as many lines in Uruguay as possible in order to contribute to the development of the country, the domestic tourism and to provide public transportation to rural communities. It is a private project without any govermental subsides. All the studies for the project are doing voluntarly by the members of the work group.

In 2001 LFU proposed to the Transport Minister and to the State Raiway Administration to take over the Tacuarermbó-Rivera service and repair the Brill railcars used in the service, paying a fee to run over the AFE tracks and another for the vehicle use in a US$/km in commercial service basis. Also a new service from Tacuarembó to Piedra Sola and an increase of Rivera-Tranqueras service has been proposed. Unfortunately, an offer concerning railbuses built in 1984 by BREL which have been withdrawn from service recently has been lost because of the slow process of opening the access to the network to private operators. Using second hand railbuses from another source, LFU has studied a two phases project to restore passenger services in another lines after track renewal. These railbuses will also replace the Brill railcars in the Tacuarembó-Rivera and Tacuarembó-Piedra Sola services.

After restoring service with railbuses will start the second phase of the project, which includes the purchase of additional rolling stock suitable for long distances like the X 4500 railcars of French Railways (SNCF). The railbuses will remain in service during 12 to 16 years, reaching a total age of about 26 to 30 years. The railcars will run during 10 to 14 years. On the third phase of the project, LFU envisages the purchase of new rolling stock, preferably from a builder in a neighbourhood country. Also the rehabilitation of remaining lines not included on the previous phases will be studied. Below, links to maps of the network and main features of some of the lines considered.

Currently passenger service operates from a new terminal in Montevideo to Progreso (7 trains daily) to 25 de Agosto (2 trains) to San Jose (1 train). There are four trains per day from Montevideo to Victor Sudriers via Manga and Pando and one to Florida. Further extensions are planned. Considering all passeneger services were cancelled in 1988 this is quite an achievement for South America and the rehabilitation of the major part of the network is a current government aim.

Bussing Railcar No. 162 at San Jose ready to go to Montevideo.









Some passengers wait gently!



Passing through the countryside.


To protect the trains grilles are everywhere making photography difficult. Approaching one of the many girder bridges.

Apart from the Bussing, very, very, British! 25 de Agosto station.

An amazing sight, a 1937 Brill Railcar. AFE have five with four in everyday service. They are all repowered with Cummins engines but otherwise original.

Webmaster at station.

Original signalbox still in use as built.

Nothing has changed.

An even smaller engine hidden alongside the sttaion at 25 de Agosto.

The Brill is ready to go.

Staff at 25 de Agosto.

Again very British looking.

Brill cab is rather primitive by modern day standards.

So is the driver in this shot!

Diesel train from Montevideo arrives.

Station sign looks pretty original at Canelones.

As is the timetable!

Another diesel from Montevideo arriving.

They sure pack them in.

Progreso station sign is original.

Dispatch office.

Brill 127 ready to depart as darkness approaches.

Montevideos new station. The old magnificent one is just abandoned.

Another view of the station.

AFE sign outside the station.

1960 Chevrolet.

1950's Chevrolet Truck.

Street wiring is exotic!.

No. 120 runs steam excurisons with.....

A fabulous interior.


The famous Dr. John Kirchner, the worlds leading authority on south american trains aboard.

Brill No. 121 in excellent condition.

Interior of 121.

2001 with a freight. Freight is gradually being built up again.

1515 shovelnose ready to depart for 25 de Agosto.

Well Packed.

Loco 812 shunts in the yard.

Part of the yard is a little dilapidated.

Mrs. Grimes suffered through the trip.

Ivanna, one of the translators from Montevideo.

A Peruvian Beauty on board.

The countryside is very similar to the UK.

Track is not bad. Much refurbishment is underway.

Track trolley in a very british looking station.

1515 ready to go.

Awaiting a meet. Station is Las Piedras.

806 duly arrives with the local.

Typical Coach.

The local car park!

Another station car park.

Typical Track View.



Staff at work.

Block and Token Original.

Webmaster and Crew and 1515.

In the wild. Track rather overgrown.

Driver.

Closeup.

A rare Ford.

Model Plate.

Interior.

Another view.

Father and son.

Caroline, the other guide and translator. Very beautiful.

Updated : 23rd. May 2008