Assosiation Friends of Latin American Railways
Who has not heard of adventurous stories of Latin America travellers – trips over precipice gorges in the Andes, never ending delays yet spontaneous and hearty encounters with indigenous passengers. Certainly, all that belongs to the unique atmosphere which can be felt aboard a train in the southern hemisphere of the new world.
Where there is a train, there is both pulsating life and connecting people, and it brings together producers and consumers. As the roads often are in a dismal state, the railway delivers essential goods also into remote areas.
In spite of the importance of the railway as such, their operators encounter great difficulties. Long years of mismanagement, financial problems and the building of more and better roads have resulted in neglected infrastructure and outdated rolling stock, thereby thinning out timetables or even producing large scale closures and dismantling of the lines. As a consequence, entire territories are depopulated, and a migration to the already too large urban areas – including their slums – takes place. Moreover, by that time, the traffic problems in these oversized conurbations logically have gone out of hand.
Is there any help to slow down or even improve this adverse situation? We believe, yes – but someone must, as always, do the first step! This represents the very foundation of the Association of "Friends of Latin American Railways". Yes, we are a bunch of dedicated railway "buffs", yet at the same time we were able to mount an effective lobbying group to support the cause of maintaining and improving the railway situation south of the USA.
It goes without saying that at first the collation of written information, pictures, films and establishment of the right contacts represented the prime task. Thereafter we could provide advise to potential travellers, liaise with railway companies, authorities and the media, the latter both in Latin America and the rest of the world.
As a next phase, planning and the procurement of funds is being established, and this in order to directly influence certain attractive but worthwhile projects.
Above and beyond, the social aspect of our regular gatherings in Switzerland's traditional railwaycity of Winterthur (north of Zurich) is an additional asset for our members.
Would you like to learn more about the "Friends of Latin American Railways"? Do not hesitate to contact us! We will be glad to supply more details. We also would be happy, if you want to join our association.