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Copper Canyon Train

A Big Iron Needle…

Jessamyn West called the Union Pacific “a big iron needle stitching the country together” and these are fitting words to describe the Copper Canyon train, For some 400 miles is stretched through some of the world’s most rugged and dirt remote country to connect the center of northern Mexico to the fertile western coastal plains and the Sea of Cortez. Actually in pre-Panama Canal days, it was envisioned as the connecter of US markets with the big ships headed to the west coast and Asia.

Yes, the Copper Canyon train is safe.

People wonder if it is safe to take a Copper Canyon tour or to ride this amazing train. My answer is absolutely yes- and many tourists travel it each day. During these times many of them are non- us people because our State Department and press hypes the issues there. Fact is we are hard pressed to find even ONE incident that has involved US tourists there. I have written much on safety in Mexico and will continue to take groups there.

Mind the gap…

The train is NOT ADA friendly. Neither is much of the Copper Canyon area. Regardless people with disabilities do quite well there- largely because of the patience and helpfulness of our team and the Mexican people. One thing to watch is altitude. Much of the Copper Canyon trip is at 7-8000 ft and if one has problems with upper elevations, this is a caution.

The disappearin railroad blues…

We often wonder if this train through Copper Canyon will continue to run every day. CHEPE is the last of the Mexican trains and people often ask if it will cease sometime. I have asked the train officials this and they assure us that this one will not go the way of “The City of New Orleans”. One reason for this is that it is such a vital link to the communities in Copper Canyon. Also the potential tourist trade to this area is huge. This will not happen until the perception of danger changes. But already Chihuahua is much more calm and things will change.


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