Photo Friday: Train Graveyard (Bolivia)

International Travel, Photography, South America

Just outside of Uyuni, gateway to Bolivia’s salt flats, lies a train graveyard. The train lines were built by British engineers who arrived near the end of the 19th century and formed a sizable community in Uyuni. The rail construction started in 1888 and was encouraged by the then Bolivian President Aniceto Arce, who believed Bolivia would flourish with a good transport system, but it was also constantly sabotaged by the local indigenous people who saw it as an intrusion into their lives. The trains were mostly used by the mining companies but, in the 1940s, the mining industry collapsed and many trains were abandoned. Due to the corrosive nature of the salt in the air, the trains have rusted and deteriorated at a rapid rate.

Photos taken December 2014 (Nikon D7000).