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Railway Journeys in Uruguay to Argentina and Brazil
Railroads in Uruguay had once the same importance as in neighboring Argentina. For such a small country, 1800 miles (2900 km) of rail is rather impressive. Also, the trains in Uruguay run on standard gauge of 8 ft 1/2 in (1435 mm), which means the country is connected by rail with neighboring Argentina without a break of gauge at the border. The Argentine main line running along the Uruguay River down to Buenos Aires is one of the few in Argentina that also was built in that gauge. The Uruguay government would like to see the network to be rebuilt to a higher standard, especially in order to connect with Brazil, which nowadays is a much more important trade partner as it once was. Also the port of Montevideo is attracting more and more freight with southern Brazil.
If you're interested in a railway journey in South America, we recommend our Argentina train tours and Brazil train tours.
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It's rare to find a passenger train in Uruguay. In fact, passenger trains from Montevideo to Buenos Aires did exist. However, the attempt to revive the service in 2011 with Diesel Multiple United bought used in Europe failed. The not very comfortable former commuter trains never attracted the number of passengers necessary to make the service economically feasible. Over time the tracks deteriorated and speed limits made the trains just not competitive with ferries and buses. As of today there are few suburban trains running into Montevideo. But they are not very convenient for most, since the terminus for these services was moved away from down town. Only roughly half of the network see the occasional freight train.
To commute from Montevideo to Buenos Aires, we recommend taking the ferry or the ferry-bus combination. If you're interested in a railway journey in South America, we recommend our Argentina train tours and Brazil train tours.
I have had the pleasure of working with Ney Ottoni during the last five months as our travel coordinator for a recent trip my family took to Chile. Our experience working with him has been outstanding.
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