Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado (EFE) is the national railway of Chile.
The track gauge is Indian gauge 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) in the south and 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge in the north. The Santiago Metro uses 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge.
The company was created on January 4, 1884 by means of the purchase of the companies that exploited the longitudinal routes and the Santiago – Valparaíso route. Since then, the company acquired the railways of the sodium nitrate mining companies in the north of Chile. From 1913 on the network of the EFE extends from Iquique to Puerto Montt. Apart from the company, Chilean Army also built a 60 kilometres (37 mi) small rail line, known to be Puente Alto-El Volcan Railway for Military purpose to safeguard from Argentina attacks, which were opened in 1914 and closed during 1985. (more translation from es:Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado#Historia to come)
A stable political and economic climate allowed EFE to complete its largest-ever investment programme in December 2005. This involved spending US$1bn in 2003-05 to increase capacity on commuter networks and improved long-distance services. Unfortunately, the project was involved in a series of corruption scandals and bad administration. The long-distance service trains, bought from the Spanish railway company RENFE, had serious flaws, and the service to Puerto Montt was closed some months later. This situation, triggered investigations from the government, who exposed the crisis of the company due to the administration mistakes.
During the last decade, the company has been revitalized, thanks to the state investments and the reestablishment of old routes, as well as the integration with the Santiago, Valparaíso and Concepción public transport systems.
High above Tocopilla, Chile, one of SQMs Boxcabs coasts downhill to the Reverso switchback.
Special tourist services
Rail links with adjacent countries
- Bolivia - same gauge 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) - from Arica to La Paz, Bolivia and from Antofagasta to Uyuni, Bolivia
- Argentina - Transandine Railway - abandoned 1984 – 100 km of mountain railway of 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) gauge with rack railway sections - break of gauge 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)/1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) at either end. Concession planned to re-open line.
- Another line connecting two countries is the Salta-Antofagasta, single 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) gauge.
- Peru - a single 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) gauge connection between the northern Chilean city of Arica and Tacna in Southern Peru. The line closed in 2012, but As of June 2014 , there were plans to reopen it.
- ^ "Historia del Ferrocarril en Chile" de Ian Thomson y Dietrich Angerstein, DIBAM, 2000.
- ^ Article "Trenes de Ciudad" by Marco Sandoval O., Magazine "En Tren" nº 9, ACCPF, 2001
- ^ "Reglamento Interno del Ferrocarril Militar de Puente Alto al Volcán", Instituto Geográfico Militar, 1934
- ^ Apuntes de la Historia del Ferrocarril de Puente Alto a El Volcán, de Gonzalo Iglesias
- ^ a b John Kolodziejski (April 1, 2006). "Record investment boosts EFE's passenger business". Railway Gazette International. London.
- ^ Thomas Salt (April 1, 2006). "Automation gets the most out of mining railway infrastructure". Railway Gazette International. London.
- ^ "Tacna – Arica reopening studies". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 3 July 2014.