Travelling by train in Argentina.
Not many people know that a train service is running twice weekly from Cordoba City to Buenos Aires Capital and from Buenos Aires Capital to Tucuman.
One of the first questions that I always get asked is: “Is it safe?” Yes, I have used the train on many occasions and I haven`t had any problems.
Long distance transport in Argentina have become very expensive over the last couple of years and the train is a cheap and good alternative if you want to travel. The only downside is that you need time and patience. A trip from Cordoba to Buenos Aires is 18 hours. The overnight bus will take you 8 to 10 hours.
Train in Argentina – different classes.
Train tickets are divided in 4 categories or clases like they call it in Argentina. Turista, Primera,Pullman and Camaroti. The prices vary between 28 pesos and 300 pesos. I bought a First Class ticket for 50 pesos compared to a bus fee of 400 pesos. Compare these prices and you will find it is quite an attractive option to use the train.
I normally take the train from the Cordoba Train terminal to Buenos Aires. The wagons are not new but are definitely not falling apart.You can spot the wear and tear but overall I couldn’t find any fault. Each wagon has 72 seats, 2 seats next to each other or in the tourist class 2 seats and a 3 seater with no individual seats. Seats can recline in all the clases apart from the Tourist Class.
Bathrooms are situated at each end of the wagon. One for men and one for women. The toilets were spotless and was cleaned several times during the night. The last wagon is the restaurant area. There are limited seats and tables available. They also serve dinner at night. The food is also limited and if you don’t buy soon then there is nothing left. Ask me! The restaurant sells cold drinks but nothing else. So stock up before you board. The next place to buy something to eat is at the Rosario platform. It is in the middle of the night and then you have either starved or you are not hungry anymore.
The train doesn’t make a lot of stops. One of the main stops is at the Rosario train station. You are allowed to leave the train for about 15 minutes.
The train ride itself is very boring. You have to entertain yourself or other people. People in Argentina like to talk, drink mate and play cards. It was no different on the train. If you are travelling on a tight budget or looking for a train adventure then this is an alternative option.
I want to add that due to the popularity of the train amongst locals it can be difficult to get tickets. Tickets cannot be bought online and you have to present your passport or DNI when purchasing your ticket. A friend or family member can produce a copy of your passport or DNI if you cannot go in person. You can also not book 2 months in advance. When the tickets are for sale you need to be very quick. Changing tickets is a big problem. You also cannot upgrade from tourist to 1st class. I tried to do that the last time and no tickets were available.
My opinion: Buy 1st class or pullman seats. They are comfortable. If you are 2 people travelling buy the Camaroti seats. You have your own private room and can sleep. Breakfast is also served.
Timetable: (Subject to change)
- Departs Buenos Aires every Monday and Thursday at 20:35
- Departs Cordoba every Wednesday and Sunday at 14:39
- Departs Buenos Aires every Monday and Friday to Tucuman at 07:28
- Departs Tucuman every Wednesday and Saturday at 15:52 (Wednesday) and 19:00 (Saturday)
When: 15 November 2012