Copiapo Railway Station

Copiapo Railway Station. Copiapo - CHILE

By the 1830s arose between the authorities and entrepreneurs longing to have a rail system that would modernize the transport allowing a better development of the economy. Thanks to the initiative of William Wheelwright, an American with shipping interests in the area, took place on the starting point for this initiative: the railway between the city of Copiapo and the port of Caldera.

In 1841, Wheelwright presented the government a project to build a line between Santiago and Valparaiso. The government did not, however, with the funds necessary for the work, so Wheelright resorted to private investors, who undertook to finance it. This first attempt was thwarted by the financial crisis that hit Europe in late 1849. Wheelright saw his dream materialized in the area northerners, who was then living a great economic boom based on the exploitation of silver deposits, especially Chañarcillo. Wealthy magnates of the area managed to gather a huge capital to build a line whose main function would be transporting the minerals from the interior to the port. Work began in early 1850, and on Christmas Day 1851 took place amid a great uproar, the maiden voyage of the railroad.

The Copiapo Railway Station was built in 1854, along with a complex which included warehouses, staff houses and other auxiliary facilities. The station building consists of two rectangular volumes, open one, which corresponds to the site of the platform, and a closed, offices for administration and public attention. The latter presents a symmetrical facade with a central access protruding slightly, on this body, gabled roof, stands a tower with four ventilation openings topped by arches. A watch crowns the entrance of the station. Inside the enclosures are distributed to the sides of a large hall where are the box office. The volume for external support platform is a row of pillars topped by arches. The construction is of wood, reeds and mud partition. From the stylistic point of view, the resort combines the neoclassical with the colonial Americas.

The building now houses a museum railway realize this important milestone in the history of transportation in our country.

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