This incredible railway line runs through the Copper Canyon
, between Los Mochis, Sinaloa and Chihuahua City and back. Known
Traveler's bags at the station in Bahuichivo.
locally as “El CHEPE,” the Chihuahua al Pacifico Railway runs daily through the spectacular scenery of Mexico’s Copper Canyon. Each station is unique and most have some place to rest as you wait. It is good to have a jacket in winter because the station can be cool…and sometimes the train as well!
Copper Canyon Train History
Huge amounts of rock and earth were excavated in the construction of this amazing railway.
Construction on the Copper Canyon railway line began in 1898. The engineering feats required to span the area were beyond the technology of the time and the project was abandoned for several years. Construction was renewed in 1953 and completed eight years later. The Chepe railway line was privatized in 1998 and taken over by Ferromex, a private rail company.
A commemorative sign from the completion ceremonies in 1961 sails high above the tracks at the Temoris station.
A Day on the Copper Canyon Train
The entire journey from Chihuahua to Los Mochis (or the other way) takes about 15 hours. The railway covers over 400 miles, climbs 8000 feet into the SierraTarahumara, passes over 37 bridges and through 87 tunnels.The 1st class train stops for passenger
Relaxing as another train passes.
boarding and deboarding at the following stations: Cuauhtémoc, Creel, Divisadero, Posada Barrancas, Bahuichivo/Cerocahui, Témoris, El Fuerte and Los Mochis. There is a 15 to 20 minute stop in Divisadero to enjoy the view of the canyon.
Traveling is pleasant..people talk, you can relax over a drink or food, and the sights are endless.
The Two Trains
There are two classes of service, Primera Express (First Class) and Clase Económica (Economy Class). The First Class train departs Chihuahua City and Los Mochis daily at 6 a.m. and the Economy Class train departs an hour later….but not every day.
The difference between the two classes is minor. First has better dining areas and the Economy Class train makes more stops – stopping at any of fifty stations along the route at passengers’ request.
The First Class train has 2 to 10 passenger cars with 60 seats each, and a dining car with with meals and bar service. The Economy Class has just a “snack car” with fast food available. All the cars on both classes have air conditioning and heating system (it usually works), reclining seats and very basic toilets. Porters sell tickets…you can buy them on the train or at the stations at both ends of the track…or online at the CHEPE site.
During most of the year, you can purchase tickets at the train station on the day prior to traveling, or on the morning of your departure. If you are traveling around the Christmas
or Semana Santa
(Easter) holiday, it is advisable to book in advance. You can book through the web site railnsw.com
(select rail only reservations), or by contacting the railway line directly
. You will need to pick up your tickets at the train station on the day of departure.
Reality is…you can usually just get on the train and get your tickets on board.
“I Hear That Whistle Blowin”
Catching the train at Divisadero
The romance and wonder of the train is captivating. It rolls through the plains, foothills and the gigantic gorges of the mountains. Relax…enjoy…and soak in the Sierra Madre culture.