Ferrocarril de Antofagasta a Bolivia

Ferrocarril de Antofagasta a Bolivia
Line length1,537 km (955 mi)
Number of tracksSingle track with passing loops
Track gauge1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) metre gauge
Old gauge2 ft 6 in (762 mm)
Highest elevation4,815 m (15,797 ft)
Route map
Map of the railroads from Arica and Antofagasta to Bolivia
Ferrocarril de Antofagasta a Bolivia Route Diagram
0Antofagasta3 m
4.14Playa Blanca62 m
13.90Sargento Aldea296 m
20.20La Negra405 m
29.39Portezuelo553 m
35.48O' Higgins550 m
37.00Uribe583 m
58.61Prat700 m
70.00Latorre783 m
82.94Cuevitas893 m
95.95Baquedano1010 m
108.74Cerrillos1164 m
116.45El Buitre1234 m
120.12Santa Rosa1266 m
121.85Carmen Alto1287 m
127.92Salinas1341 m
132.08Peineta1353 m
136.13Central1368 m
143.31Unión1411 m
148.00Placilla1431 m
153.41Solitario1470 m
161.48La Noria1540 m
165.33Rebosadero1606 m
170.38Sierra Gorda1623 m
178.87Cochrane1710 m
204.87Cerritos Bayos2142 m
238.24Calama2265 m
252.87San Salvador2467 m
269.28Cere2641 m
299.22Conchi3015 m
Loa Viaduct, 103 m high, in use till 1914
312.24San Pedro3223 m
339.68Polapi3372 m
366.00AscotánHighest point3956 m
387.26Cebollar3729 m
402.44Carcote3802 m
411.88San Martin3688 m
440.00Ollagüe3696 m
Border Chile / Bolivia
469.86Chiguana3678 m
515.80Julaca3658 m
545.62Río Grande3658 m
610.36Uyuni3659 m
659.36Chita3745 m
760.88Sevaruyo3745 m
813.26Challapata3706 m
876.31Poopó3709 m
924.15Oruro3694 m
980.00Eucaliptus3724 m
1040.00Patacamaya3785 m
1100.00Ingavi3869 m
1120.00Viacha3851 m
1152.00La Paz3689 m

Section with background color was built from
the beginning with 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) gauge.

The Ferrocarril de Antofagasta a Bolivia (British company name: Antofagasta (Chili) & Bolivia Railway or FCAB for short) is a private railway operating in the northern provinces of Chile. It is notable in that it was one of the earliest railways built to 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge, with a route that climbed from sea level to over 4,500 m (14,764 ft), while handling goods traffic totaling near 2 million tons[which?] per annum. It proved that a railway with such a narrow gauge could do the work of a standard gauge railway, and influenced the construction of other railways such as the Estrada de Ferro Oeste de Minas. It was later converted to 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) metre gauge, and still operates today.


The railway started at the Chilean port of Antofagasta. It proceeded up the front range of the Andes to Ollagüe on the Bolivian border, then across the Bolivian pampas to Uyuni and Oruro. At Oruro, the gauge changed to 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) metre gauge for the remainder of the route to La Paz, the capital of Bolivia. A number of branches were added to reach various mining fields. The Collahuasi branch reached 4,815 m (15,797 ft) above sea level, regarded at the time of construction as the highest railway in the world. The total length of the 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) gauge lines, including branches and subsidiaries, was 1,537 km (955 mi).