Tuesday, January 13, 2009

El Tren Muerto

Rusting, abandoned machinery is disquieting, but that awareness did not prepare me for our morning visit to the Cementerio de Trenes.

Three kilometers away from Uyuni there is a train graveyard, full of once-functional machinery that has been left to the desert. A bit further on are even more locomotives, including an ore train once robbed by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, as well as Bolivia's first steam engine. Bolivia is now the poorest country in South America, but it once buzzed with the profits from silver mining.

I quietly kept an eye on the engineer in our group. He loves machines; what would he make of this desolate setting?

The same thing the rest of us made of it as it turned out.

"That's really sad."

1 comment:

Ed Ward said...

There's a similar thing for planes, including jets, outside of Tucson in the desert. Mile after mile of planes, just sitting there. You'd think the metal, at least, would be worth something.