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!
Breaking News: In 2017, a new class of service — Tren Crucero Gold — was introduced to great success. This exclusive option offers luxury, boutique accommodations for your overnight stays. From Quito’s colonial, UNESCO World Heritage main square, to historical haciendas and restored public buildings dating from the cocoa boom in XIXth century Guayaquil, these properties have been selected for their singular character, their attention to detail, and their excellence in service. Tren Crucero Gold guests — limited to only 10 per departure — will stay in accommodations including the Plaza Grande Hotel, the Hotel del Parque, Hacienda La Danesa, and Hacienda Andaluza.
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.
This is a day-time only train; there are no sleeping accommodations. Overnights are spent in local haciendas along the way.
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.
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.
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.to top