The Train to the Clouds (Train of the Clouds) is an Argentine tourist rail service on the C-14 branch of the General Manuel Belgrano Railroad1 in the section that links Salta Station with the La Polvorilla viaduct, on the Andes Mountains, At more than 4220 masl (13,845 feet). The train departs from the city of Salta, crosses the Lerma Valley to enter the Quebrada del Toro and reach the Puna de Atacama.
The train as a ferro-tourism venture was born on the initiative of the authorities of the General Belgrano Railway, who in November 1971 resolved to run an experimental train with officials and journalists.
On July 16, 1972, the first official tourist trip was made, remaining until 1990 in the hands of State Railways and, since 1991, by the private capital of Salta.
The influx of passengers was initially scarce since Salta agencies preferred to sell tourists their own programs. Just when in 1978 the Argentine journalist Federico B. Kirbus published a note titled "To the Clouds on a Train" in the autoclub magazine of the Automobile Club Argentino, the public's interest began for this novel tourist attraction.
The train leaves from the station of the city of Salta until the Viaduct La Polvorilla every day of the year, except for the 90 days that the austral summer lasts; During this rainy season, there are frequent landslides that often obstruct the railroad tracks.
The height of the tracks reaches 4220 msnm (13 845 feet), making it one of the highest trains in the world.
The journey takes about 16 hours. It crosses 29 bridges, 21 tunnels, 13 viaducts, 2 "curls" and 2 "zigzags".
During the whole trip there are only two stops: one at San Antonio de los Cobres station and the other at La Polvorilla viaduct.
The train has services such as car parlor, doctor's office, audio, video and bilingual guides, as well as private security and an ambulance that accompany the train.