The International Steam Pages

The Asunción steam tourist train in Paraguay

This page charters its checkered 'progress' in recent years:

Asunción resident Renaud Olgiati reported (14th January 2011) - “At the Asunción end, no traffic at all, as the abutment of a bridge 3 km out of town has collapsed, the tourist service to Aregua is stopped until further notice.

Neil Edwards was here with a tour group in August 2009 and reports on his visit (23rd August 2009).

Darrien Welsby reports (25th January 2007) "The tourist train at Asuncion stopped running on the 17 December 2006 and it is not known when/if it will run again. Locos 54 and 521 are in the yard at Jardin Botanico and both appear to be operational at the time of my visit (29 Dec 2006), along with two nicely restored carriages." 

Annie and Steve Smith add (17th November 2004):

Hi, a quick update from Asunción service to Aregua reduced to Sundays only at present hopefully resuming Saturday services in December as tourist season picks up. Tremendous effort by FREPASA with the volunteer firemen manning the crossings, musicians, magicians and "characters" joining the passengers. All to a very high standard and brilliant for kids, young and old alike. We visited Villarica station, wood in fair condition and Ypacarai where the station (a smaller version of Asunción) has been restored and mothballed, the yard, turntable etc overgrown but more or less complete.

Ros Mason adds some more first hand observations (5th November 2004):

A recent visit to Paraguay was inspired by your site so I want to report back the following news:

Botanica - huge service extended to Aregua from 1st October.2004. 54 worked 30th and 31st October 2004, locos 54 and 521 are based at Botanica.
Fare $5 including drinks and snacks, the service runs on Saturday and Sunday at 10.00, returns 16.30 and takes 1˝ - 2 hours each way with the train propelled back to Ascunción. FANTASTIC!!!

226/228 still at Ascunción shed / plinth, Ascunción Station a museum (with loco) and worth a visit.

Several correspondents sent me information on the derailment of an excursion train on 16th July 2000. The accident happened at Luque, which is around 12 km south of the main station in Asunción, resulting in the death of two children and 16 people injured. The train comprised a steam locomotive, 54, and two carriages full of people. The accident was attributed to a combination of excess speed and bad track.

Rob Dickinson