Tren Crucero


First-class

Introduction/History:

The Tren Crucero began service in 2014. The daytime-only train consists of four carriages–two dining cars and two lounge cars, with a capacity for 54 passengers. The most exciting part of the consist is the open-air observation deck at the back of the train.  It operates between Quito and Guayaquil on a 4 day/4 night journey, with touring along the way and overnights in local hotels. It’s a wonderful way to take in the varied landscape of Ecuador!

Ecuador, from the mountains to the sea, has some of the world’s most fantastic scenery. You can see so much of it from this lovely bright-red train. Eleanor & Owen Hardy reviewed the train program in April, 2017, and they report the accommodations on the train, the staff, the haciendas and the food were all excellent; the routing and the scenery astounding. Two long afternoons with steam haulage adds to the excitement. It was named to the prestigious list  of the World’s Top 25 Trains June 2, 2017.

Tren Ecuador has five working steam locomotives including the bright red Guayaquil & Quito Engine No. 11 and jet-black steam consolidated No. 58 (2-8-0).  While operation by steam can vary, depending on which locos are in service, passengers usually can enjoy at least several hours riding behind an authentic steam loco. Note: on our trip, our engineer seemed to blow his whistle at every railroad crossing and curve — to the delight of all the passengers.

Here is a wonderful video published by Tren Crucero.

Accommodations

This is a day-time only train; there are no sleeping accommodations.  Overnights are spent in local haciendas along the way.

Dining

Coach 1 is furnished with tables and chairs for 30 people; it is decorated in the Baroque style. Coach 2 seats 24 and is in Neoclassical style.

Lounge Cars

Coach 3 has a lounge, coffee bar and handicraft shop. The final coach has a lounge area and open-air terrace for viewing the passing scenery.

Other

One of the highlights of the Tren Crucero journey is interacting with the people of Ecuador, from the wonderful staff on the train, to the entertainment on board, to the friendly locals at the haciendas and towns along the way.

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The view from the Tren Crucero observation deck.  Photo by Eleanor Hardy.
The view from the Tren Crucero observation deck. Photo by Eleanor Hardy.
Tren Crucero has two dining and two lounge cars.
Tren Crucero has two dining and two lounge cars.
Tren Crucero is pulled by a steam locomotive on two short sections of its journey.  Photo by Owen Hardy.
Tren Crucero is pulled by a steam locomotive on two short sections of its journey. Photo by Owen Hardy.
Lunch baskets on the Tren Crucero.  Photo by Owen Hardy.
Lunch baskets on the Tren Crucero. Photo by Owen Hardy.
Tren Crucero navigates the Devil's Nose
Tren Crucero navigates the Devil's Nose