Author Pablo Neruda was Chile's most famous train buff. (Neruda spent his childhood in Temuco, and his father was a rail worker.) Accordingly, the city has transformed its old rail yard into this well-laid-out museum documenting Chile's rail history and dedicated to the author's memory. Thirteen locomotives (one diesel and 12 steam) and nine train carriages are housed in the round engine building. Scattered among the exhibits are snippets from Neruda's writings: "Trains
were dreaming in the station, defenseless, sleeping, without locomotives," reads one wistful reflection. Exhibits are labeled in Spanish, but an English-speaking guide is on hand if you need translation. The museum lies a bit off the beaten path, but if trains fascinate you, as they did Neruda, it's worth the short taxi ride from downtown. Twice-monthly tourist rail excursions to Valdivia, using the museum's restored 1940 steam locomotive, are worth an afternoon of your time.
Av. Barros Arana 565, Temuco, Chile