Uruguay and Argentina recently re-established passenger train service between the two countries, for the first time in over 30 years. I’m a huge fan of trains and would love to see their revival in Uruguay. I was super excited to read about new train service. Everybody really takes the ferry between Montevideo and Buenos Aires, it’s fast, there’s wifi, it’s reliable. But train service sounds cool. Only once i read about the new service did i realize that it’s really a wonderful example about everything which is wrong about rio de la plata (nice way of saying uruguay and argentina). There is now train service! The thing is, the train doesn’t go from Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina to Montevideo the capital of Uruguay. The two places where the majority of the populations of each country lives. Instead it went from Pilar, Argentina, a town 250,000 about 56km outside of Buenos Aries, to Paso de los Toros, a tiny town of 13,000 people in the middle of nowhere Uruguay. Really, the train goes from a medium size town in Argentina to a very small town in Uruguay. There is NOTHING in Paso de los Toros except cows, a small damn, and sleepy gauchos. A train route, going from Buenos Aires to Montevideo would make sense, if it took a reasonable place to cross the river. But they didn’t. What’s worse is they picked two small towns nobody wants to go to. They first train left Pilar, Argentina on the 22rd of September with lots of pomp and circumstance. The media covering the great new initiative. The thing is, the train arrived at the Uruguayan border and in classic uruguayan fashion, somebody decided they didn’t have the proper paperwork in order. They refused entry to the TRAIN! The few passengers who were on the train were transferred to a bus for the rest of the trip. They arrived at 3am! The thing is, they intended it to arrive at 3am! It wasn’t late, that’s the schedule. The train takes 19 hours and arrives at 3am, to a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. The only positive part about the whole thing is that the train trip is cheap, $31 USD!
See more here:
The train to nowhere – The train of the free peoples