The Ferrocarril Central Andino S.A. (FCCA), in English Peruvian Central Railway, is a Peruvian company that operates the rail traffic from Lima to the Peruvian Andean highlands. The 591 km rail network has endpoints at Cerro de Pasco, Huancayo, La Oroya, and Callao, the central harbor city in Peru, just a stone-throw away to Lima.
Lima-Huancayo Train History
Between 1868 and 1869, Malinowski created a feasibility study for the Callao – Lima – La Oroya railway line for Henry Meiggs. In December 1869, Meiggs agreed with the Peruvian government to build the Ferrocarril Central Trasandino, later the Ferrocarril Central Andino. Malinowski created the planning and, as chief engineer, directed the construction of this route. Meiggs, with Malinovski as chef engineer, constructed the railway line from Callao to La Oroya – Huancayo between 1871-1876.
Until 2005 it was the highest regular-gauge railway in the world with a vertex at 4781 m (15’681 ft) above sea level at La Galera. For the gain in altitude between the Pacific coast and La Oroya in the Andes, several spirals and 6 Zigzag’s were necessary.
The railway line between Lima and Huancayo was out of service for several years until 2002. Since 2003, however, a tourist train is circulating about 8 – 9 times a year between April and November. Besides, freight trains run daily between Cerro de Pasco, La Oroya, and Callao, bringing ores from the many mines in the region to the harbor of Callao.
Future Rail Projects between Lima and Huancayo
The government of Peru has proposed to drill a 21 km, $ 400 million tunnel through the Andes to cut travel time on the currently 332 km Lima – Huancayo route by four hours. This tunnel project, however, has not started executing yet.
Passenger Train Journeys Lima- Huancayo-Lima in 2020
The trip from Lima to Huancayo or vice versa, takes 14 hours, approximative. The train ticket includes breakfast and lunch. The service of a nurse and oxygen is available on the train for the passengers with altitude problems. During the trip, Lima – Huancayo are two tourist stops: one in San Bartolome and one in Galera, the highest railway station on the route. On the way Huancayo-Lima, the train stops only in Galera.
Ferrocarriles Centrales offers two types of cars: “Clase Turistico” where you have comfortable Pullman seats, panoramic windows, airconditioning, and access to a bar car with an observation deck. “Clase Clasico” has straight seats and standard windows. The seat arrangements in Clase Clasico are 2×2 seats facing each other with a small table in the middle. From the Clasico Carriage, you don’t have access to the Observation car.
The journey Lima-Huancayo-Lima is part of our tour “Rail Adventures in the Andes” that we organize from June 11 – July 1, 2020.