Yes, it a an amazing graveyard- a graveyard with a difference. Here one finds a large number of old railways engines, bogies etc. left to rot in the sun. This rail yard which I visited in 2014, is about 3 kms outside the small town of Uyuni in Bolivia and is connected to it by the old train tracks . Let us first try to get a mooring of where exactly is Bolivia located on the map of the world.
Important: The geographical boundries of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir as shown in the map above are NOT correct as part of its area seems to have been wrongly excluded from the Indian boundary. Uyuni is located in the southern part of Bolivia, near Chilean border.
In the past, this town served as a distribution hub for the trains carrying minerals on their way to the Pacific Ocean ports. The train lines were built by British engineers who arrived near the end of the 19th century and formed a sizable community in Uyuni
It was encouraged by the then Bolivian President Aniceto Arce, who believed Bolivia would flourish with a good transport system, but the local indigenous people did not see to it kindly as they viewed it as an intrusion into their lives.
The trains were mostly used by the mining companies. In the 1940s, the mining industry collapsed, partly due to the mineral depletion. Many trains were abandoned thereby producing the train cemetery. One can see a large number of these retired engines staying unmoved.
Most of the trains that can be found in the Graveyard date back to the early 20th century and were imported from Britain. In other places in the world, the mighty steel trains would have held up better. The salt winds that blow over Uyuni, which hosts the world’s largest salt plain, have corroded all of the metal. Without guards or even a fence, these pieces were picked over and vandalized long ago.
There is a talk now of building a museum out of the cemetery.That’s me, a happily retired person, posing with a happy looking retired railway engine.
(Text with inputs from the internet)
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