train track to Machu Picchu destroyed

Old Jan 28th, 2010, 04:47 PM
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train track to Machu Picchu destroyed

I just saw the photos of the destroyed railroad tracks for the train to Machu Picchu. The railbed is totally gone and impossible to use.

We have tickets for May and I wonder if it is going to be possible to get these tracks in working order. Nothing is posted on Peru Rail.

I know tourism is a huge money infiltration for Peru and they need to get it repaired. Yet I wonder if it is possible to complete the repairs in a few months.
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Old Jan 28th, 2010, 07:02 PM
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How sad, hope it is up an runing when you go. You can take a bus.
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Old Jan 28th, 2010, 08:43 PM
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No, no bus. They will have to rebuild at least part of the train tracks but I would think it is possible by May which should be several months into the drier season. Not likely that anyone can give a precise date until the flooding has subsided.

Have a backup itinerary just in case.
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Old Jan 28th, 2010, 09:15 PM
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that is so sad. i hope it is repaired for your trip.

the switchback train ride with andean music in the background is a very memorable part of machu picchu for me.
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Old Jan 29th, 2010, 05:16 AM
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A state of emergency for Cusco province 100,000 homeless

No switchbacks and the train does not go to MP

only used to go to AC along the Vilcanota river

Bus from AC to MP does the switchbacks NO andean music

unless you have and IPOD.

www.livinginperu.com details the situation has photos

More rain worse expected for Feb.

Go elsewhere if possoble like Huaraz or www.kuelap.org

Weather is fine there
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Old Jan 29th, 2010, 05:32 AM
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This is so horrible and sad...do you think the hiking trails and everything will be ok for summer? I have not purchased but am in the process of planning a trip for June...
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Old Jan 29th, 2010, 11:44 AM
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From Living in Peru the link posted by Qwovadis there is a report from the train company that indicates they need 8 weeks of reasonably good weather to complete repairs (the train track is reported to have 8 different breaks). So if you scratch February then perhaps out of March-May they will get the needed time to finish repairs. However they will complete the section to Santa Teresa first which gives an alternate but more difficult way to get in or out.

You might contact some reliable trekking companies in a few weeks and ask. I think it will be too chaotic now to expect a reply. They aren't good about emails even in best of times.
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Old Jan 29th, 2010, 02:30 PM
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Ferrocarril Transandino, has anounced that the damage caused to the rail way has at least 8 critical points and it should take 18 weeks to repair those, although they will split work to repair into three sections and oonce the second section is repaired tourists will have the chance again to see Machu Picchu going first by bus and then by train, to acomplish this, the Peruvian authorities and train companies will work together to improve the road Santa Maria - Santa Teresa - Hydroelectric Station so travelers will take a bus from Cusco to Santa Teresa and Hydroelectric Station and the train from there to Aguas Calientes. There are two posibilities to access Machu Picchu both first bus and then train.
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Old Jan 30th, 2010, 05:09 AM
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It is now looking as though they will have bus/train

route via Santa Maria by Mar/April

so I might stay flexible do the Gringo Trail

and book your trek in May if this occurs

adventures.worldnomads.com/destination/168/itinerary/23.aspx

www.andeantravelweb.com good trekking info
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Old Jan 30th, 2010, 05:16 PM
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From a travel company I get updates from daily.

"Now that rains are beginning to subside, Peru Rail has informed us that they expect to repair the track between Ollantaytambo (Urubamba Valley) and Machu Picchu by the end of March. In the interim beginning February 20, they are making arrangements to provide transportation for tours to Machu Picchu via overland by road but it will take up to 10 hours. They also expect to offer helicopter service for tours to Machu Picchu as another alternative until the rail is fixed. (Without intentions of putting a positive spin on a bad situations, this would be a great way to see Machu Picchu, and with very few other people!)"
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Old Jan 31st, 2010, 04:47 AM
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Well, since it took three months to get my hardwood floors installed correctly, it will be pretty astonishing if the railbeds can be built, reinforced, the tracks laid and the system throughly tested (an important step in my book), by the end of March.

I travel extensively in Asia and the Middle east. I always get trip insurance. For some unknown reason on this trip, I purchased "cancel for any reason" insurance for the first time in my life as it was pretty cheap and I said to self "what the heck" . I do not plan on using it as I am set on doing this trip, so I will hope for the best and plan for alternatives.

dcorey, the thought of paying a bit more and arrving at MP by helicopter is a rather intriquing option. If this option is actually available, I'm there. I saw where the president of Peru talked about helicopter transport the other day. If money was no object and you could pull out the stops--imagine a two night stay at the Sanctuary Lodge with helicopter transport? Hummmm.. : ) Oh, damn that "money object."

Last thing. For those who travel business class. There is an amazing deal right now out of JFK and LAX with LAN to Lima. Business class, non stop, flat bed, fully refundable, no change fee (before or during) tickets are around $1900. It is less than any of the consolidators could offer for non refundable tickets.

Let's pray that they can indeed repair the rails safely so that the people of Peru can have their livelihood back and that we can enjoy their hospitality and their country's beauty and history.
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