ON AUGUST 24 PeruRail announced the start of a US$1·5m programme to refurbish its passenger car fleet, due for completion by March 2001. Work is being undertaken by James Park Associates at the company’s workshops in Cusco and Arequipa.

The fleet of eight diesel railcars operating between Cusco and Aguas Calientes (for Machu Picchu) is to receive improved seating as well as an enlarged luggage storage area and refurbished toilet facilities. Window openings are to be cut into the roof of six ’Autowagon’ cars, giving passengers a better view of the mountain scenery en route.

First class and observation cars will be introduced to the 397 km Cusco - Puno route, where a new timetable will cut the journey time from 10 to 8h. The first class cars will have 36 seats in place of the standard 52, as well as new toilets and interior decoration. In addition to a bar service, first class passengers will be served a hot breakfast and a three-course lunch. Coffee will be available in the observation car, equipped with a bar and shop giving onto an open-sided platform occupying half of the vehicle.