Costa Rica Railway – Rebuilding 2023

costa rica railway

Costa Rica Railway – Rebuilding the Pacific route . A future project that is stuck?

Rebuilding the Costa Rica Railway to the Pacific. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the railway played a very important role in Costa Rica’s development. It is precisely this magic that they now want to recreate. It is  a reconstruction of the Costa Rica railway to the Pacific. A great idea.

The Ministry of Planning and Economic Policy (MIDEPLAN) INCOFER has provided a sum of about $553,000.  This will now be used to carry out a feasibility study for the 131 km railway line between Alajuela and Puntarenas. The feasibility study will take about 7 months. Well, let’s see if it will be finished, and if so, when.

costa rica railway jungle view
By train thru the Jungle

Costa Rica Railway heritage

Costa Rica hopes to revive the rail heritage of its „grandparents“. Besides an electric train in the metropolitan area (GAM) and an electric goods train in Limón, the reactivation of the costa rica railway to the Pacific is one of the projects planned by INCOFER until 2023.

Opportunities -Costa Rica Railway

One is sure that these developments will contribute to the economic recovery. Nor should one ignore the new jobs that will be created as a result.

In the past, the Pacific Railway (Ferrocarril al Pacifico) was an important link between the capital San José and Puntarenas, Costa Rica’s port city par excellence.

Railway Development

Reconstruction of the Costa Rica Railway to the pacific coast. The Construction of the line began in 1897, but due to financial difficulties, work was halted at Orotina. As a result, the line was not completed until 1910. „Maria Cecilia“, was the name given to the first steam locomotive, Exploring Costa Rica by rail. Named after the granddaughter of former President Rafael Iglesias. It began its maiden voyage in 1898.

In 1928, Costa Rica also opened an electric railway to the Pacific, which was operated until the 1990s. Very exemplary and unfortunately also a great pity that the financial means to continue operating the line were lacking. Ecotourism and railway tour, a wonderful combination.

Cotsa Rica Railway Tour

To remember the colourful history of the railway, the tourism company America Travel launched the „Tico Train Tour“ from San José to the Pacific coast in the early 2000s. Unfortunately, this is also currently in a very desolate state due to budget cuts.

walk on the old railway costa rica
Experience Costa Rica by train

Rebuilding the railway – dream of the future

Despite the „setbacks“, the course for an ecological future has been set correctly. Unfortunately there was no further update on this sustainable project since they seem to be out of money. Financing was from the start the biggest concern with this national project. In order for there to be a positive outcome, the government’s priorities must be set correctly. The railway would be a great improvement of the costa rican infrastructure but is also a huge challange for the company in lead and the country.   We definitely will keep an eye on the reconstruction of the Costa  Rica railway to the Pacific and support it to the best of our abilities. Individual tourism at the highest level of nature.


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Article in German

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