Train Graveyard in Uyuni

The highlight of being in Uyuni was the Train Graveyard. Those of you that know me know I like to go into abandoned places and this graveyard fit the bill. It was not necessarily abandoned but it had the qualities of decay, that I find fascinating about these places.

The Journey to the Train Graveyard

I looked at my maps.me app and walked towards the graveyard. It was a dusty journey and felt like a scene from an old western. At times I would be whipped by the sand-filled wind. All that was missing were tumbleweeds.

The dusty road to the train graveyard in Uyuni

The dusty road to the train graveyard in Uyuni

Sadly, there was a ton of garbage along the way. There were these deposits as well as a collection of little shrubs that were covered in plastic bags. The wind would carry the bag and they would eventually get impaled on the shrubs. Not exactly good for their photosynthesis. 

Large amount of garbage enroute

Large amount of garbage enroute

Arrival to the train graveyard

After about a 15-20 minutes walk from town, I saw the first signs of the graveyard! The mountains in the distance added a nice touch. 

The first train skeletons

The first train skeletons

I was insanely excited as you will see from the ridiculous amount of pictures and videos I took (I took over 200). I climbed atop the train cars, got inside, and even crawled into a few of them. 

The beginning of the graveyard was mostly skeletal remains and train parts. Further down, as you will see there were more intact examples, includings some that were decorated with skillful art work. 

Train car undercarriage

Train car undercarriage

  

Peering through the triangular train car

Peering through the triangular train car

Train skeletons with mountains in the background

Train skeletons with mountains in the background

I continued ducking into different train skeletons, walking around, and then I saw this tanker. I couldn’t resist climbing it and taking a look inside as well as getting some more elevation to look around. This would be just one of many climbs today 🙂

Fuel Tanker

Fuel Tanker

Jet Fuel

Jet Fuel

Inside what appeared to be a passenter train car

Inside what appeared to be a passenter train car

Looking through a train car entrance

Looking through a train car entrance

Yes, climb me please

Yes, climb me please

Me atop the train car above

Me atop the train car above

Looking down the Uyuni Train Graveyard from atop a train car

Looking down the Uyuni Train Graveyard from atop a train car

 Once I hit this section in the tracks the more intact trains showed themselves.

That meant I could climb more and take more pictures like this.

Train climbing!

Train climbing!

Industrial Chic

Train car wheel

Train car wheel

Paint peeling off the side of a train car

Paint peeling off the side of a train car

Rivets

Rivets

Down the hatch

Down the hatch

The cap of an oil tanker

The cap of an oil tanker

An array of bolts

An array of bolts

Train car joint

Train car joint

Train Artwork

Aside from the crunched up decaying train cars, there were plenty that had been painted. Some were really well done, others were more goofy, and some were quite crude. Still this just added another element of enjoyment to the experience.

  

Examples of why the train cars are here

I liked playing a little game while walking through the graveyard. Essentially I would look for evidence of why the train car was here. Some were very obvious as they were crunched up like a soda can and others were more subtle like the separation of these plates from overbuilt pressure.

This train went boom

This train went boom

Crunchy train car

Crunchy train car

This train car got an inadvertent nose job

This train car got an inadvertent nose job

My fascination with the lead train car (motor unit)

The remaining shots of the day

 

On my way out I saw a bunch of birds that had taken residence in one particular part of the train graveyard. They looked like sparrows but had a bright yellow belly on them. 

 

 

The final thing I will talk about is the metal under the tracks. I have always seen wood used in the construction of tracks and found it really peculiar. They were hollow underneath which also surprised me. I not sure if metal or wood is better for this but I found it really cool that this diverged from what I felt were normal track building methods. 

  

 

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