Sitting on the outskirts of the town of Paraguari is the old abandoned train station. It was not always out on the edge of town but after being closed for more than 100 years the town has had ample time to shift it’s focus from rail to road.

The railways of Paraguay were amongst the very first to be built in South America. The aim was for a line from Asunción to Encarnación in the south which lay just across the river from Argentina. From there goods and people could travel onwards to Buenos Aires and the world.

Work on the railway began in 1861 in Asunción with initially a short 4km stretch to the town of Trinidad. The materials and managers were on the whole supplied by the English firm Blyth.

Work then continued southwards along the line reaching Paraguari in 1864. The construction of the station was overseen by the English engineer Alonso Taylor. Later that same year the station building was completed and opened.

The timing unfortunatly though was very bad as the very next year Paraguay got dragged into the Triple Alliance War against Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. By the time the war ended in March 1870 Paraguay was in ruins with little use for a railway line to export it’s goods and people.

The station did not however shut at once but struggled on until 1890 when for the very last time one of the great wood burning steam trains stopped at it’s platform.

From then onwards for more than 100 years it was left to slowly decay as a relic to a bygone age.

Then in 2012 with the station building abandoned but structurally sound renovations began to restore this memorial to Paraguay’s past. The building was cleaned and the area around tidied to show the orginal railway tracks and to create a small park.

The station can now easily be reached, sitting in splendid isolation at the end of a long straight road looking towards the hills of the highlands.

I did read that there is now a small museam inside but when I paid a visit there was no sign of it being open so opening times may be slightly erratic.