One of the technical elements that will facilitate the incorporation of this area of “The Araucanía” to the Republic, was the construction of the railroad. Without this one, his incorporation to the territory there would be desfasado in several years.
The State had to take action again, about 1870, on the re-beginning of the extension activities of the line towards the south. These works turned out to be delayed by the “economic crisis of the 1870 decade, the storms of 1877 and the War of the Pacific Ocean”, along with the ending of this conflict. Once concluded these contingencies, the authorities met the need to communicate the enormous areas of the north (incorporated recently into the national sovereignty) and of the south. “This authorized the government to initiate an ambitious construction plan of iron lines, in order to consolidate its sovereignty in the furthest south of the country by means of the introduction of the railway in the region of the Araucanía”. Thank to this improvement is that in this period it began an important process of foundation of cities and colonization. The publishing house of the newspaper The Railway indicated the following thing. “It is honorable for our progress that the big attentions to the war are not an obstacle to continue with perseverance the task of the national expansion by the tireless effort of work and of peace. On the following day after the bloody struggles of the war we are going to cross through new railways extensive territories, taking life to regions that in the long course of four centuries could not be conquered for the civilization”.
The railway will join Valparaiso, Santiago and Concepcion in 1874, but it is not up to the government of the president José Manuel Balmaceda (as some historians indicate it), that this mean of transport recieved a big impulse so that the country could go so far as to possess a Central Network. This one will allow joining the rich mining areas of the north, with the unexploited grounds of the south, generating “the importance itself that the territories would take when the railway will cross allow them in direct, easy and cheap communication with the whole country, it is a circumstance that must not be despised”.
Since the formation of the Railways of the State, it was thought about how to increase the construction of the rolling-material in the country. It is as well as in the Balmaceda’s government is constructed “the first locomotive made in the country” which took the name of the current president. This period also saw the construction of one of the most spectacular works of engineering that have been made in the country, we speak about the Viaduct of the Malleco, which construction began in France in 1887 by Schneider and Co. Le Creusot, being inaugurated on October 26 of 1890, by the president José Manuel Balmaceda.
Another of the great works of Engineering that were started at the end of the XIXth century was the construction of the dome of the Central Station. This station was working from 1856, but its definitive setting acquired it in 1897, period in which “there were replaced two roof structures and the intermediate tower to a big metallic structure”. The manufacture was entrusted to the same company that constructed the Viaduct of the Malleco.
The train will continue its extension up to Victoria in October, 1890 and in 1913 the train finally will come to the city of Puerto Montt.
It is necessary to emphasize that at the end of the XIXth century the idea of constructing a railway in the island of Chiloé of 0,60 centimeters gauge with almost 90 kilometers long arose, which was inaugurated in 1913.
© 2014 Patrimonio Ferroviario Chileno. * Derecho de imagen Juan Pablo Ugalde * Resolución optima pantalla 1280 x 1024 * Diseñado por Miguel Estay Ortiz