Saturday, July 7, 2012

Bogotá's Once and Future Railroad

The old railroad station on Calle 13, west of La Candelaria. 
The crossing sign says 'stop.'
But city leaders are saying 'go.'
Bogotá's old railroad line cuts strategically north from the city's center. But, except for weekend tourist trains and some schoolchildren commuters, the line is used only by homeless scavangers, who live, sort trash and light fires amidst the weeds lining the tracks.
But this morning local and regional governments signed an agreement to build a commuter rail network along this line, Ave. Septima and other parts of Bogotá.
But will it actually happen?
I wonder how expensive this will be, particularly since Colombia's rail lines use a non-standard gauge, which is part of the reason they fell into disuse in the first place. Previous plans to create high-speed rail corridors were criticized because of danger to pedestrians and the way that they would create barriers across the city because of required safety walls.  

The weedy railroad corridor, now a campsite for homeless scavengers. 
Related Post:

Steve's Steam Train

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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