Argentine Railways, 1899


Intensive railroad development took place in Argentina between 1880 and 1916, a period of rapid economic growth and national consolidation. The railroads made possible Argentina’s emergence as a major exporter of wheat, beef, and other products. The most important railroads were owned and built by British companies, which were granted concessions by the Argentine government because of their technical expertise and their ability to raise large sums on the London market to finance the construction. This 1899 map, issued by the Buenos Ayres and Pacific Railway Company, of London, shows the country’s main rail lines. The inset map at the upper left shows the dense network in and around the capital city and main port of Buenos Aires. Most of the British-owned lines adopted the broad-gauge, 5 foot 6 inch (1.68 meter) standard, wider than the track used in most other parts of the world, including Europe and North America. Other lines used the narrow gauge of 3 foot 3.27 inches (1 meter wide), or, as indicated in the note on the map pertaining to the provinces of Entre Rios and Corrientes, the 4 foot 8.5 inch (1.44 meter) standard gauge.

Last updated: May 29, 2013