Ferrocarril Guaqui a La Paz
Click on the thumbnails to see larger images; "pc" = postcard.
Click here to return to the La Paz text.

Return to La Paz main text

(01) The western terminus of the Ferrocarril Guaqui a La Paz, on a pier in Lake Titicaca, at altitude 3,834 m (12,580 ft) [see map]. Passengers and cargo crossed the lake to Puno, Peru, where they changed back to trains. [pc, col. AM]
(02) El Alto, on the edge of the plateau, at altitude 4,082 m (13,392 ft). Here the electrified portion of the FCG (as the railway company abbreviated its name) began its descent into La Paz in the valley [see map]. [col. J. W. F. Scrimgeour, courtesy John Hinson]
(03) The eastern terminus of the FCG: Challapampa station in La Paz, altitude 3,700 m (12,140 ft) [see map]. The view is east. That's Av. Montes curving up to the right. [pc, col. AM]
(04) The passenger station at Challapampa. The view is west from Calle Uruguay, looking toward El Alto [see map]. The tram is from the Tranvías de La Paz local tramway system. Picture 30 shows this structure in 2004. [pc, col. AM]
(05) A mediocre but rare photograph of one of four trams, numbered 100-103, that J. G. Brill built for the FCG in 1904 (Brill orders 13829 and 13831 of 10 August 1904). The cars were later renumbered 10-13. [col. AM]
(06) An undated view of FCG 12, ex-102, at Challapampa station in La Paz [see map]. [col. AM]
(07) The 4-axle freight motor that Brill built for FCG in 1904 (Brill order 13833 of 10 August 1904). Locomotive 20 was originally numbered 120. [Earl Clark]
(08) An extraordinary early view of an electric train descending into La Paz. FCG box motor 20 (ex-120) is escorting seven passenger cars and three freight cars. This postcard was mailed in July 1936. [col. AM]
(09) A 1964 view of one of the freight motors that Brill built for FCG in 1906 (Brill order 15049). Locomotives 121 and 122 were renumbered 21 and 22. [Warren Miller]
(10) FCG locomotive 132, built by English Electric in 1930, arriving in La Paz. FCG renumbered it 32 (photo 20 below shows locomotives 30 and 31). [English Electric Journal (London), December 1931, p. 190]
(11) The FCG shops at Pura Pura [see map] in 1963. [Earl Clark]
(12) FCG tram 10 (ex-100) starting its climb from Pura Pura in 1963. The electrified track on the right leads to a mill. [Earl Clark]
(13) Number 10 farther up the line, on its way to El Alto [see map]. [Earl Clark]
(14) A lunar landscape in 1966. [Photographer unknown, col. Earl Clark]
(15) Anonymous snow scene, November 1965. [col. Earl Clark]
(16) A photograph taken in 1970 by a Japanese visitor, Hirotsugu Akiba. The author saw this picture in the August 1990 issue of Japan Railfan Magazine, published in Tokyo. He wrote to the publisher, who contacted the photographer in Hokkaido, who sent a negative of his slide. The image was reproduced on the cover of the author's book, Latin America by Streetcar, published in New York in 1996. [Hirotsugu Akiba]
(17) Tram 10 near Challapampa depot in La Paz [see map], October 1963. [Earl Clark]
(18) The General Electric controller and the brake on Brill car 10. [Earl Clark]
(19) Brill box motor 20 of 1904 pulling a Hunslet diesel locomotive of 1939 at El Alto depot [see map] in 1963. [Earl Clark]
(20) Brill box motor 21 of 1906 at Challapampa station [see map]. Behind it are two diesel railcars supplied by Wickham in England. [Earl Clark]
(21) Locomotive 21 at a passing siding halfway up the mountain, 1963. The center rail was used for braking. [Earl Clark]
(22) Brill locomotives 21 and 22 were both built in 1906, but had different designs. Number 22, shown here, looked more like Brill locomotive 20, which was built in 1904 (see photos 04 and 16). [Earl Clark]
(23) Here are the two 2-axle locomotives built in 1904 by General Electric in Schenectady. The photograph was taken in October 1963. [Earl Clark]
(24) Locomotives 30 and 31 were often coupled to pull heavy loads up the mountain. This photograph was taken at Challapampa station in 1963 [see map]. [Earl Clark]
(25) FCG scrapped most of its railway in 1974. This photograph was taken on 11 July of that year, shortly before the tracks were removed. [Doug Long, courtesy Earl Clark]
(26) In 1976, the rolling stock was still stored at Pura Pura depot [see map] and was brought out to pose for rail enthusiasts. [AM]
(27) Car 11, parked outdoors, had been cannibalized. [AM]
(28) Car 12 was still operable in 1976, but was not in very good condition – and, in any case, had no place to go. [AM]
(29) By 1963, diesel railcars had already replaced most of the locomotive-drawn trains on the FCG line between Guaqui and El Alto [see map]. Number 3 was built in 1953 by Wickham in England. [Earl Clark]

(30) A 2004 view of FCG's Challapampa station, which has become the city's interurban bus terminal. Compare to picture 04 above. [Bert Brahmer]

(31) Two of the FCG cars as they appeared in the 2007 motion picture "Los Andes No Creen en Dios (The Andes Don't Believe in God)".


Go to La Paz map


Copyright © 2005-2105 Allen Morrison - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED