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Ecuador – Rail Travel

Ecuador has a long history of rail travel, with the first railway being built in 1873. Today, the rail network in Ecuador is run by the state-owned company Tren Ecuador, which operates passenger trains for tourists and locals alike. In this article, we’ll explore the standard of rail travel in Ecuador, the different classes of service, where to find information on timetables and tickets, and more.

Overall Standard of Rail Travel in Ecuador

The overall standard of rail travel in Ecuador is good, with comfortable trains that offer scenic views of the country’s diverse landscapes. The trains are well-maintained, and the staff is friendly and helpful. The routes offer a mix of day trips and longer journeys, with stops at popular destinations such as Quito, Guayaquil, and the famous Nariz del Diablo (Devil’s Nose) mountain pass.

Classes of Rail Travel in Ecuador

There are three classes of rail travel in Ecuador: standard, first, and luxury. The main differences between the classes are the level of comfort and amenities provided.

  • Standard class: This is the most basic class of service, with comfortable seats and large windows for taking in the views. Some trains also have a dining car where passengers can purchase food and drinks.

  • First class: This class offers more comfortable seats and additional amenities such as air conditioning and a buffet car with snacks and drinks included in the ticket price.

  • Luxury class: The luxury class is the most expensive and offers the highest level of comfort and luxury. Passengers have access to a private lounge, gourmet meals, and an open bar. The seats are larger and recline further, and there is a live band onboard for entertainment.

Finding Information on Rail Timetables and Ticket Prices

The best place to find information on rail timetables and ticket prices in Ecuador is on the Tren Ecuador website (https://www.trenecuador.com). The website has a user-friendly interface and provides detailed information on the different train routes, schedules, and ticket prices.

Buying Rail Tickets and Reservations in Ecuador

Rail tickets and reservations can be purchased directly from the Tren Ecuador website, at train stations, or from authorized travel agents. It’s recommended to book in advance, especially during peak travel periods, as trains can sell out quickly.

Contact details for Tren Ecuador are as follows:


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  • Phone: (+593) 23991000
  • Email: info@trenecuador.com
  • Address: Av. 12 de Octubre N24-528 y Cordero, Edificio Platinum Plaza, Quito, Ecuador

Types of Rail Tickets and Discounts

There are several types of rail tickets available in Ecuador, including one-way, round-trip, and multi-ride tickets. The prices vary depending on the class of service and the distance traveled.

Tren Ecuador also offers several discounts, including:

  • Senior citizens: Passengers over the age of 65 are eligible for a 50% discount on standard and first-class tickets.
  • Children: Children under the age of 3 travel for free. Children between the ages of 3 and 11 receive a 50% discount on standard and first-class tickets.
  • Groups: Groups of 10 or more receive a 10% discount on standard and first-class tickets.

Rail Travel for Disabled Passengers

The rail network in Ecuador is generally not very accessible for disabled passengers. Most trains do not have wheelchair access, and the stations are not equipped with ramps or elevators. However, Tren Ecuador does offer a special service for disabled passengers, where they can be assisted onto the train by staff members. It’s recommended to contact Tren Ecuador in advance to arrange this service.

Underground Trains or Metros in Urban Areas

While Ecuador does not have any underground trains, it does have a metro system in the capital city of Quito. The Quito Metro, which began operations in 2019, currently has two lines with a total of 33 stations. The metro runs from 5:00 am to midnight on weekdays and from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm on weekends.

The Quito Metro is modern and well-maintained, with air conditioning and Wi-Fi onboard. The trains run frequently, with a maximum wait time of 6 minutes during peak hours. The metro is also affordable, with a one-way ticket costing $0.45.

In conclusion, rail travel in Ecuador offers a comfortable and scenic way to explore the country’s diverse landscapes. There are several classes of service available, with options for every budget. Information on timetables and ticket prices can be found on the Tren Ecuador website, and tickets can be purchased online or at train stations. Discounts are available for senior citizens, children, and groups, and a special service is offered for disabled passengers. While there are no underground trains in Ecuador, the Quito Metro provides a modern and efficient mode of transport in the capital city.


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