The International Steam Pages

The Paraguay Railway 2012 

Asunción resident Renaud Olgiati has sent the following notes  (10th February 2012) on actual and proposed developments, necessarily not 100% steam related. This report has now been updated, 23rd October 2012.

The contract is being tendered for the building of a motorway that will run on both sides of the track between Asunción and Luque; this includes the rebuilding of the bridge over the Rio Ytay, whose collapsed abutment had stopped all traffic. It is hoped to restart the touristic steam train to Aregua soon, and extend it to Ypacarai and Sapucai.

Taking advantage of the improvement of road access now that the Paraguari - Villarica road has been paved, the railway workshops in Sapucai have been cleaned-up, painted and opened as a tourist attraction. Recently the workshop boiler was in steam, and worked the stationary engine that powers the workshop (H&S would have a fit at the amount of unguarded belts and pulleys).

Work has also started at the other end of the main line, building a deviation (shades of the Festiniog Railway) to reinstate the hydro-dam flooded line between General Artigas and Encarnación, which will allow once again through running from Asuncion to Buenos Aires, and give the Encarnación steam locos access again to the workshops in Sapucai.

I recently heard that the authorities of Paraguay and the Argentine are working on re-opening a railway service across the Parana river from Encarnación to Posadas, building new passengers stations in both cities.

Finally, I was told by the president of Fepasa that the railway has retained ownership of the lines that are now used for road traffic inside Asuncion, which means that (steam ?) trains could possibly run again to the town centre station if the project of suburban trains between Asunción and Ypacarai goes through, in line with the Asuncion - Luque track rebuilding.

Rob Dickinson