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Chile Transportations

In 2005, Chile had 6,585 km of railways, the fourth largest in Latin America. Rail lines in the desert area are used mainly for mineral transport. By 1988, cargo transportation by rail had reached nearly 6 million tons annually. There are five international railroads from Chile: a line to Tacna, Peru; two to La Paz, Bolivia; and two to Argentina. In 1975, the first section of a new subway was opened in Santiago; the second section was opened in 1980.

There were 79,605 km of roads in 2001, 16,080 km of which were paved. The Pan American Highway, extending 3,460 km from the Peruvian border to Puerto Montt, is Chile's principal road artery. In 2000 there were about 1,214,698 passenger cars and 816,586 commercial trucks, buses, and taxis. The Carretera Austral Presidente Augusto Pinochet, a highway, is under construction in the south; when complete it will link Cochrane in Coyhaique with Puerto Montt.

Chile has some 20 ports, 10 of which are used principally for coastal shipping. Valparaíso, the principal port for Santiago, is by far the most important. Arica, Iquique, Tocopilla, Antofagasta, Coquimbo, San Antonio, Talcahuano, and Punta Arenas are other important ports. In 2006, the Chilean merchant marine had 46 vessels over 1,000 tons and a total GRT of 649,091.

Air transportation has become increasingly important. As of 2006, there were 363 airports in Chile, 73 of which had paved runways. Santiago hosts the principal international airport, Arturo Merino. Chile's largest airline is the state-owned National Airlines of Chile (LAN-Chile), which provides both domestic and international service. LAN-Chile's only significant domestic competitor is Copper Airlines (LADECO), a privately owned company In 2001, airlines carried 5,300,700 passengers on domestic and international flights.


363 (2006)

Airports - with paved runways
total: 73
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 22
914 to 1,523 m: 22
under 914 m: 17 (2006)

Airports - with unpaved runways
total: 290
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
914 to 1,523 m: 58
under 914 m: 216 (2006)

gas 2,567 km; gas/liquid petroleum gas 42 km; liquid petroleum gas 539 km; oil 1,003 km; refined products 757 km; unknown (oil/water) 97 km (2006)

total: 6,585 km
broad gauge: 2,831 km 1.676-m gauge (1,317 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 3,754 km 1.000-m gauge (2005)

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