Copper Canyon Railway, Mexico
The Copper Canyon Railway is a true engineering feat, allowing travellers and locals alike the chance to see the majestic Copper Canyon, nestled in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range. The railroad marvel took almost 90 years and 90 million dollars to complete, chugging along 653 kilometres of track between Chihuahua, Chihuahua and Los Mochis in Sinaloa.
While the most impressive sight on the railway is the canyon itself, the train also stops at five notable towns and crosses over 37 bridges, hugging the edge of mountains and ascending to 2,400m before descending to sea level. In 2018 a new luxury train service was introduced to operate the route, meaning passengers can now complete this epic railway journey in just nine hours, instead of the original 16.
Prices from: 1,891 pesos (£77)
Departing from: Los Mochis, Chihuahua
Journey length: 9 or 16 hours
Copper Canyon Railway route
The Copper Canyon Railway is the best way to see some of Mexico’s most stunning scenery, from the Copper Canyon (four times larger than the US’ Grand Canyon) and Sierra Madre Occidental mountains to quirky towns along the way. The line runs between Chihuahua, Chihuahua and Los Mochis in Sinaloa, along 653 kilometres, crossing 39 bridges and venturing through 86 tunnels.
The Chepe Regional train chugs along the entire railway and takes 16 hours, whereas the new first-class Chepe Express train takes nine hours but runs between Los Mochis and tourist hotspot Creel instead of all the way to Chihuahua. Both the Chepe Regional and Chepe Express run in opposite directions every 2 to 3 days. There’s no need to book in advance, unless you’re travelling during peak season – July and August.
Copper Canyon Railway train
There are two trains that operate along the railway, the older Chepe Regional train and the new luxury Chepe Express. Chepe Regional is comfortable and well equipped with washrooms and a dining car and runs the full route between Sinaloa and Chihuahua. The new luxury train is the most premium way to travel – complete with bar car, panoramic viewing car and a restaurant car. Both trains offer both first and second-class seating. For ease of travel and added comfort, it’s worth opting for the new Chepe Express.
What we love
The opportunity to travel safely and comfortably through some of Mexico’s less touristy regions, not to mention the chance to see the majestic Copper Canyon. This rail journey is truly a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.