Railroads in Peru: How important were they?

Luis Felipe Zegarra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This paper analyzes the evolution and main features of the railway system of Peru in the 19th and early 20th centuries. From mid-19th century railroads were considered a promise for achieving progress. Several railroads were then built in Peru, especially in 1850-75 and in 1910-30. With the construction of railroads, Peruvians saved time in travelling and carrying freight. The faster service of railroads did not necessarily come at the cost of higher passenger fares and freight rates. Fares and rates were lower for railroads than for mules, especially for long distances. However, for some routes (especially for short distances with many curves), the traditional system of llamas remained as the lowest pecuniary cost (but also slowest) mode of transportation.

Translated title of the contributionFerrocarriles en el perú: ¿qué tan importantes fueron?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-259
Number of pages47
JournalDesarrollo y Sociedad
Issue number68
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Latin america
  • Peru
  • Railroads
  • Transportation


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