Rail transport in El Salvador

Last updated
FENADESAL passenger train in San Salvador Terminal Oriente on January 17, 2005. FENADESAL2005.JPG
FENADESAL passenger train in San Salvador Terminal Oriente on January 17, 2005.
FENADESAL steam engine in Apopa. Trenapopa(sansalvador).JPG
FENADESAL steam engine in Apopa.
Track in Soyapango in 2011 FENEDESAL Railroad El Salvador 2011.jpg
Track in Soyapango in 2011

At present (2015), no trains are operated in El Salvador. The national railroad corporation is FENADESAL (Ferrocarriles Nacionales de El Salvador), a division of CEPA (Comisión Ejecutiva Portuaria Autónoma, port authority). It oversees 554.8 km of all disused 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge lines connecting major cities (San Salvador, Santa Ana, Acajutla, Sonsonate, Soyapango, Zacatecoluca) and formerly linked with Guatemala railroads at Anguiatú. [1]

El Salvador country in Central America

El Salvador, officially the Republic of El Salvador, is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. It is bordered on the northeast by Honduras, on the northwest by Guatemala, and on the south by the Pacific Ocean. El Salvador's capital and largest city is San Salvador. As of 2016, the country had a population of approximately 6.34 million.

3 ft gauge railways

Three foot gauge railways have a track gauge of 3 ft or 1 yard. This gauge is a narrow gauge and is generally found throughout North, Central, and South America. In Ireland, many secondary and industrial lines were built to 3 ft gauge, and it is the dominant gauge on the Isle of Man, where it is known as the Manx Standard Gauge. Modern 3 ft gauge railways are most commonly found in isolated mountainous areas, on small islands, or in large-scale amusement parks and theme parks. This gauge is also popular in model railroading, and model prototypes of these railways have been made by several model train brands around the world, such as Accucraft Trains (US), Aristo-Craft Trains (US), Bachmann Industries, Delton Locomotive Works (US), LGB (Germany), and PIKO (Germany).

San Salvador National capital in San Salvador Department, El Salvador

San Salvador is the capital and the most populous city of El Salvador and its eponymous department. It is the country's political, cultural, educational and financial center. The Metropolitan Area of San Salvador which comprises the capital itself and 13 of its municipalities has a population of 2,404,097.



Rail map as of 1925 El Salvador rail map 1925.jpg
Rail map as of 1925

The first railroad in El Salvador was opened between Sonsonate and the port of Acajutla on June 4, 1882. In the following years, the lines extended to Santa Ana, San Salvador and other places. Parts of network were managed separately by The Salvador Railway Company Limited (later nationalized and renamed FES - Ferrocarril de El Salvador) and IRCA - International Railways of Central America (a United Fruit company, later nationalized and renamed FENASAL - Ferrocarril Nacional de El Salvador). In 1975, based on a governmental decree, the two companies merged into FENADESAL - Ferrocarriles Nacionales de El Salvador, managed and administered by CEPA (port authority) on behalf of the state. [2]

Acajutla City in Sonsonate Department, El Salvador

Acajutla is a seaport city in Sonsonate Department, El Salvador. The city is located at 13°35′24″N89°50′01″W on the Pacific Coast of Central America and is El Salvador's principal seaport from which a large portion of the nation's exports of coffee, sugar, and Balsam of Peru are shipped. As a city, Acajutla is one of seventeen such districts in Sonsonate. As of 1992, the population of the city was 18,008, and of the city 47,678.

All rail transport was suspended in October 2002. Passenger trains between San Salvador and Soyapango were briefly restored from October 2004 until April 2005 to help alleviate traffic congestion after a collapse of a road bridge which connected these two cities. [3]

Soyapango Municipality in San Salvador Department, El Salvador

Soyapango is a municipality in the San Salvador department of El Salvador. Soyapango is a commercial center. The municipality is the third most populated area in the country, with 290,412 inhabitants. Soyapango is a satellite city of San Salvador and it is the main thoroughfare between San Salvador and the eastern part of the country, and nearly 70,000 vehicles travel through it every day. The nickname for this satellite city is Soya. The city is infamously and notoriously known for being the most dangerous city of the Central America region, and also for being a breeding ground for the Mara gangs and the place where gang members first arrive after being deported to El Salvador from Los Angeles, reason why these two locations evoke a similar resemblance to each other.

In 2006 CEPA presented a pilot scheme for reviving the rail network. Commuter services could be introduced between San Salvador and Apopa, requiring the refurbishment of seven passenger vehicles. [4]

In November 2007 the CEPA plan was put into effect and the service to Apopa was restarted with two return trips each morning and evening aimed at commuter traffic. The fare is on 10¢ US for the 12 km trip, and to ensure safety four police officers ride each train (service suspended from 2013). The plan is to reopen the whole route to the provincial capital of Sonsonate in stages over the next 12 months with the next stage to Nejapa due to reopen in March.

United States dollar Currency of the United States of America

The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States and its territories per the United States Constitution since 1792. In practice, the dollar is divided into 100 smaller cent (¢) units, but is occasionally divided into 1000 mills (₥) for accounting. The circulating paper money consists of Federal Reserve Notes that are denominated in United States dollars.


The FERISTSA Railway was proposed to connect Mexico with Panama via El Salvador. [5]


FERISTSA was the name of a proposed 1,600-mile (2,600 km) US$3 billion privately owned commercial railroad going from the Panama Canal Railway Company through the entire length of Central America, linking with Mexico's rail system at the Guatemala border, and thus to Belize, the United States, and Canada.

See also

Related Research Articles

Transport in El Salvador

El Salvador has transport links by road, rail, sea and air.

Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado

Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado (EFE) is the national railway of Chile.

Tren Suburbano company

The Suburban Railway of the Valley of Mexico Metropolitan Area is an electric suburban rail system in Mexico City. It is also known as Valley of Mexico Suburban Rail System and colloquially referred to as El Tren Suburbano. It is designed to complement the extensive Mexico City metro system, Latin America's largest and busiest urban rail network.

Rail transport in Mexico

Mexico has a freight railway system owned by the national government and operated by various entities under concessions (charters) granted by the national government. The railway system provides freight and passenger service throughout the country, connecting major industrial centers with ports and with rail connections at the United States border. Passenger rail services were limited to a number of tourist trains between 1997, when Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México suspended service, and 2008, when Ferrocarril Suburbano de la Zona Metropolitana de México inaugurated Mexico's first commuter rail service between Mexico City and the State of Mexico. This is not including the Mexico City Metro, which started service in 1969.

Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México State railway company of Mexico

Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México, was Mexico's state owned railroad company from 1938 to 1998, and prior to 1938 a major railroad controlled by the government that linked Mexico City to the major cities of Nuevo Laredo and Ciudad Juárez on the U.S. border. The first trains to Nuevo Laredo from Mexico City began operating in 1903.

Ferrocarril del Pacífico

The Ferrocarril del Pacífico is a former railroad line of Mexico that operated from Nogales, Sonora to Guadalajara, Jalisco via Mazatlán, Sinaloa.

Rail transport in Peru

Rail transport in Peru has a varied history. Peruvian rail transport has never formed a true network, primarily comprising separate lines running inland from the coast and built according to freight need rather than passenger need.

Rail transport in Guatemala

Although Guatemala still has a network of 3 ft narrow gauge railroads, no passenger or freight trains currently run, except for occasional chartered tourist trains.

Rail transport in Honduras

Railroads in Honduras were built in late 19th and early 20th centuries by two competing U.S. corporations - United Fruit and Standard Fruit. All were in the Caribbean coastal area and never reached the capital. In 1993, the combined network had 785 km. At present (2006), only three separate segments remain in operation under the management of FNH - Ferrocarril Nacional de Honduras:

Rail transport in Paraguay

The Rail system in Paraguay consisted primarily of a 376 km main line of standard gauge between Asunción and Encarnación. The infrastructure was administered by Ferrocarriles del Paraguay S.A. (FE.PA.S.A.), corporation established in 2002.

Rail transport in Central America

Rail transport in Central America consists of several isolated railroad lines with freight or passenger service. The most famous one is the Panama Canal Railway, the oldest transcontinental railroad in the world, connecting Panama City with Colón since 1855. Other railroads in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama were built by private and public investors mainly to facilitate the transport of local agricultural produce to export markets and harbors. Their market share and profitability went into decline in the second half of the twentieth century and most lines have been decommissioned by the end of the 1990s. As of 2018, railroads operate locally in Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama only; all rail transport has been suspended in Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. None of the operating railways crosses national borders.

Domingo Faustino Sarmiento Railway

The Domingo Faustino Sarmiento Railway (FCDFS), named after the former Argentine president, statesman, educator, and author Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, is one of the six state-owned Argentine railway divisions formed after President Juan Perón's nationalisation of the Argentine railway network in 1948. The six companies were managed by Ferrocarriles Argentinos which was later broken up during the process of railway privatisation beginning in 1991 during Carlos Menem's presidency.

Ferrocarriles de Cuba state rail operator in Cuba

Ferrocarriles de Cuba (FCC) or Ferrocarriles Nacionales de Cuba, provides passenger and freight services for Cuba.

San Martín Line

The San Martín line is a 70-kilometre (43 mi), 22-station commuter rail service in the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The San Martín line operates from the city-centre terminus of Retiro north-west to Doctor Cabred in Luján Partido along a broad gauge line built by the British-owned Buenos Aires and Pacific Railway.

Buenavista Station Main railway station of Mexico City

Buenavista Station is a passenger rail station in Mexico City. The station provided intercity passenger rail service until those services were discontinued by Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México in 1997. In June 2008, the station was reopened to serve as the terminus of the newly inaugurated commuter rail service, the Suburban Railway of the Valley of Mexico Metropolitan Area. Atop the ground-level station and tracks is one of the city's largest shopping malls, Forum Buenavista.