Museo del Cablecarril
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Lonely Planet review
This fascinating old cablecar station documents an extraordinary engineering project that gave birth to the town of Chilecito at the beginning of the 20th century. To enable the mining of gold, silver and copper from the Sierra de Famatina, a cablecar was constructed running from here, at the end of the railway line, to La Mejicana, at an altitude of 4603m, more than 3.5km above Chilecito and nearly 40km away. With nine stations, a tunnel and 262 towers, the project was completed in 1904. Men and supplies were carried to the mine, operated by a British firm, in four hours. WWI put an end to it and the line started to decay, although local miners continued using it until the 1930s.
The picturesque museum preserves photos, tools and documents from the cablecar and mine, as well as communications equipment, including an early cell phone. There’s a detailed guided tour in Spanish, and you’ll then be taken to the cablecar terminus itself – a rickety spiral staircase climbs to the platform, where ore carts now wait silently in line. It’s worth going in the late afternoon, when the sun bathes the rusted metal and snowy sierras.
The museum is on the main road at the southern entrance to town, a block south of the bus terminal.