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Baikal-Amur Mainline, Russia. The most beautiful section of the BAM, perhaps, is the bypass of the Severomuisky tunnel. To climb the Angarakan pass, you need to overcome a steep slope. For this, the railway line literally winds in knots along the slopes of the mountains, rising to the top with a serpentine. The usual road takes 22 kilometers, but the train overcomes as much as 57, going up and down again half a kilometer. On the walk, you can see some interesting engineering creations. The most famous of these is the Devil's Bridge. This is a tall overpass on two-tiered supports located above the Itykit channel. At the same time, the bridge is curved and located in the rise. They say that when heavy trains pass through it, the Devil's Bridge even sways. Today, only small working trains run along this bypass, usually twice a day - from Novy Uoyan to Taksimo and back. The rest of the traffic goes through the famous Severomuisky tunnel, which is 15 kilometers long. This is the longest tunnel in Russia.
Shanghai-Lhasa and Beijing-Lhasa, China. This road was built quite recently and runs through the beautiful and picturesque provinces of the country. The railway is the highest in the world. Many put this engineering structure even on a par with the Great Wall of China. The most interesting part of the journey begins in the Tibetan Highlands, where the train overcomes the pass at an altitude of 5072 meters. This has never happened with the railways. When driving through high-mountain areas, oxygen is even supplied to the cars. However, the creation of Chinese engineers at one time was actively opposed by the Tibetans, so the advocates for the freedom of this area should better refuse to travel along this path.
Pass Marias, USA. In the famous Microsoft Train Simulator game, this track is one of the most popular routes. This railroad, to the surprise of many gambling addicts, is real, located in the state of Montana. The passage through the pass was discovered back in 1889 by engineer John Stevens, along with a Blackfoot Indian named Koons. The way through the pass is very difficult, especially for long freight trains. The Empire Builder passenger train traveling from Chicago to Portland also goes through this place.
Spiral Raurimu, New Zealand. New Zealand engineers also have a lot to brag about in the rail industry. Sometime in the 18th century, they built the main road of the North Island from Wellington to Auckland. And then a serious problem arose - it was necessary to somehow overcome the steep slopes that separated the Wanganui River valley and the volcanic plateau. It was decided to use the project of engineer Robert Holmes - in the Raurimu National Park, a crazy railway spiral was twisted, consisting of two tunnels, three turns of 180 degrees and even one full circle. And all these bends fit on a 7 km long stretch of road!
Uyuni Oruro Potosi, Bolivia. Not so long ago, it was this railway that held the height record - 4787 meters at the Condor pass. The journey begins near the huge salt marsh Uyuni, here, moreover, on the abandoned tracks, there is a whole cemetery of old trains with real steam locomotives. It is not even trains that go along the road, but only individual cars. Its path leads to the highest mountain city in the world - Potosi, located at an altitude of 4200 meters above sea level. The railway, which is a rarity even for South America, runs in the middle of the busy streets of small villages and towns.
Devil's Nose, Ecuador. The main attraction of the road network of this country is precisely Nariz del Diablo. This single track, 100 kilometers long, begins in the highlands at Riobamba and descends into the Shibamba jungle. The path winds along the slope of Chimborazo, the famous South American volcano with a height of 6267 meters. Tourists prefer to look at the surroundings not from windows, but directly from the roofs of the cars, which provides the best view. Even difficult climatic inconveniences do not scare people away. Part of the road was destroyed in 1997-1998, but the national landmark was quickly restored. The pleasure of riding an old train, descending from a height, costs only 15 dollars.
Llantas Porterillos, Chile. Often, the construction of a railway is carried out without regard to the surrounding reality. This is just such a case. Iron ore is mined not far from Llantas and sent by freight trains to a processing plant in Porterillos. Only now it is located high in the mountains at around 3300 meters. The road passes through a dry stretch of mountains, where rain is extremely rare. Heavy rain can be a serious problem for railroad workers, as it will simply wash away a section of track located on a steep mountainside.
Lima Huancayo Huancavelica, Peru. Is it any wonder that the most unusual railways have gathered in South America. This road is also unique for its serpentines, return dead ends and unusual zigzags. It happens that the train runs into a dead end, then back down to the next dead end and continues to move in the normal direction. When engineers faced the steep slopes of the Andes during construction, they had to resort to such tricks.
Patagonian Express, Argentina. In 1906, the President of Argentina sharply raised the issue of the development of national territories, which served as the basis for the construction of the Patagonian road. However, the work was completed only two decades later, when the operating line connected the cities of Bahia Blanca and Carmen de Patagones. When historical passions were in full swing in these places, today there is a national reserve that attracts tourists. Although the main route is on a broad gauge track, Patagonia has many narrow gauge sections and old carriages and cartoon-style steam locomotives. Often there are no sleepers near the railway, the rails are buried in the grass and sand. Beautiful views open before the eyes of tourists, and at night you can enjoy the view of shooting stars.
Ferrocaril Austral Fueguino, Argentina. This road is also called the train to the ends of the earth. It leads to the local Tierra del Fuego National Park and is the southernmost and narrowest-gauge railway in the country. The gauge here is only 50 cm. There is even a Fin del Mundo or "End of the World" station, which is always full of tourists who want to get to the park by train, and not by a cheaper and faster bus. Interestingly, at the very beginning of the 20th century, prisoners were taken along this road to correctional labor. The construction of the road began in 1902, and the gauge was then 60 cm. One of the first steam locomotives was nicknamed the coquette, as it jumped on the move. By 1952, the road fell into disrepair, and it was launched in the early 90s exclusively for tourism purposes. All locomotives and wagons are therefore made according to the old models of the early 20th century.