Passengers from all over the world come to glimpse a piece of Argentina´s history of the last century. The train is a ride that crosses those roads.
On the hillside of Mount Susana, in the valley of the Pipo River, a zigzagging landscape enters the Tierra del Fuego National Park
. The means of transport is the Train of the End of the World, a ride that values the train of prisoners, as they called it in history. After more than 40 years, in 1994 the tourist train recovered part of the route made by the criminal railway of Ushuaia
.A mythical journey
The walk starts at the End of the World Station, 8 km from the center of Ushuaia. On board the train, the amazing and chilling stories of the prisoners begin to cross the route. The history of the prison tells how the five-floor plant was built, now a museum. The most rudimentary train formations of the prisoners had the main function of transporting wood and stone for the construction of the prison.
The prison had its beginnings in the Island of the States and then the new construction began in an incipient Ushuaia, where a town of 40 houses existed in 1902. The origin of the prison goes in parallel with a plan of penal colony, thought to populate these inhospitable places of rough and impetuous seas, in times of border treaties in Argentina in the late nineteenth century.
Ushuaia met their needs through the workshops and work of the prisoners. These men built the streets, public buildings, bridges, even made the bread of the people, and the prison gave impulse to the first essential services of electricity, telephone and printing. The architectural heritage that was the engine of the birth of the city in the first half of the last century was recovered by the Argentine Navy, and there works the Maritime Museum of Ushuaia since 1996.
Crossing the Burned Bridge over the Pipo River, the first stop of the tourist train is Cascada La Macarena Station. The Cañadón del Toro is behind and the river accompanies the entire journey with its melting waters that flow into the Beagle Channel. At this stop, visitors can get off and enjoy the ascent to a viewpoint over the river valley, even the path reaches a little higher, on the Martial chain.
It is possible to contemplate all the beauty of the mythical national park while expert guides explain the origin and geographical features. Bordering the river that winds the valley, another vestige of the passage of the train of the prisoners is observed. It is the Cemetery of Trees, whose stumps remain as witnesses of a past time.
The National Park Station is the last stop, after traveling 7 km. There the visitor can walk through the park and continue with some other excursion or undertake the return to the city. 3 daily departures are scheduled. The organization provides an individual audio system to listen to the story in 7 different languages.
Duration: 1 hour.
Opening hours: Departures 9:30am and 3pm. The train operates 365 days a year, adjusting timetables and departures according to season.
Tour type: Contemplative
How to get here: Go along Route 3 till you reach km3042, 8km towards the West of the city.
Bear in mind: To appreciate the ride better and learn the history better, before getting on the train, it is convenient to visit the Museo del Presidio (Prison´s Museum). At the ticket office, there is information available about the various trails that cross the area leaving from the Parque station, at the end of the rail.