The "Chepe Expresso" (train) (2023)

Last revised: December 31, 2022

For:Adam is on fire

IsChepe-Expressis the ultimate exclusive accommodation by train through Mexico's beautiful Copper Canyon. These services date back to 1961 with the opening of the route, which immediately attracted tourists.

However, the most famous train on the route was first class.Sierra Madre Express, which operated from 1986 to 2009.

Larger than America's world-famous Grand Canyon, the canyon system (its deepest chasm is nearly 6,200 feet deep) is actually six separate canyons made up of six different rivers.

These watercourses join the Fuerte River, which empties into the Gulf of California. The corridor is home to numerous natural and man-made wonders, which easily explains its popularity.

Many of the 86 tunnels and 36 bridges are in the Creel and Sufragio segment, such as:

The El Lazo loop

The tunnel of La Pera in the shape of a horseshoe

The Chinipas Bridge rises 335 feet above the river of the same name

(Video) ALL ABOARD EL CHEPE TRAIN | Chihuahua to Creel | Cusárare Waterfall

The 1,637-foot Agua Caliente Bridge spans the Fuerte River (the longest on the line)

Tunnel 86 (bored through a mile of solid rock)

The information here provides only a brief glimpse of theChepe-Expressand history his journey.

road map

Route and map of the "Chepe Express". work of the author.


The legacy of a railroad line through Mexico's Copper Canyon can be traced back to American interests and Arthur Edward Stilwell in particular. Born in Rochester, New York in 1859, he and his family were once prominent members of society.

They had tough times and Stilwell had to find his own way and ended up a traveling salesman. His commercial and social aspirations never faltered, and he gradually worked his way up the ranks by becoming involved with the railroad.

He was a firm believer in the concept of an "airline," a railroad that contained as straight a line as possible by connecting two points.

In 1889 he organized the Kansas City, Pittsburg & Gulf Railroad (KCP&G) to connect Kansas City to the Gulf Coast by the shortest route. It seemed that his plan would fall victim to the economic downturn that followed the financial panic of 1893.

However, thanks to the help of George Pullman, the powerful businessman who founded the Pullman Palace Car Company, Stilwell received $3 million and completed the railroad to Port Arthur, Texas (named after him) with "Last Spike" ceremonies to Beaumont in September. 11th, 1897.

Unfortunately, KCP&G eventually went bankrupt (1899) and emerged in 1900 as the Kansas City Southern Railway.

Ironically, the KCS remains one of only seven Class I railroads in America today. With this setback, Stilwell's relationship with the railroads appeared to be at an end.

(Video) Recorrido abordo del Tren Chepe Express en Chihuahua

However, as Keith Bryant, Jr. points out in his authoritative article: “History of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad” the man refused to retire and worked on his next adventure in a year.

This particular project was the long awaited goal of many promoters to build the shortest transcontinental line from the Midwest to the Pacific Coast (1,600 miles).

Achieving this required a railroad across Mexico, creating port facilities at Topolobampo, Sinaloa, along the Gulf of California.

The ultimate goal was to beat Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco in trade with China, India and Japan (mainly corn, wheat and manufactured goods). While Stilwell claimed his idea was a first, in fact such a proposal had been debated for at least twenty years.

Kansas City, Mexican and Eastern Railroad

With no funds of his own, Stilwell enlisted the help of several Englishmen and local Kansas City businessmen.

The railroad was known as the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railway (KCM&O), was incorporated on April 30, 1900, and officially chartered the next day.

Also known as "The Ostroute, "was built in segments, with Stilwell hoping to later connect the individual sections.

From Kansas City it would pass through central Oklahoma at Fairview and then cross the Red River at Diaz. then it would travel through Sweetwater, Texas and San Angelo before reaching the Mexican border at El Oro along the Rio Grande.

From there it passed through Chihuahua, Chihuahua (Mexico) and finally ended up in Topolobampo, Sonora. The Mexican segment was the most difficult, where engineers had to deal with the very steep mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental.

Stilwell managed to complete five separate segments:

  • Emporia-Cassoday, Kansas

  • Wichita-Diaz, Texas

  • Knox City-San Angelo, Texas

  • Ameisen-Arapanapochic, Chihuahua

  • Lagune-Topolobampo, Sonora

In total, KCM&O operated 735 miles in America and another 320 in Mexico.


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Unfortunately, funding for the remainder could not be secured and the project ran into difficulties, eventually going bankrupt in 1912.

Bankruptcy lasted more than a decade, and the fate of the railroad remained uncertain until 1928. The company's liquidator was William T. Kemper, who did his best to keep the ailing operation going despite the efforts of creditors to settle the matter.

He attempted to court several large corporations such as Chicago, Burlington & Quincy; Chicago, Rock Island and the Pacific; Missouri Pacific; and South Pacific.

No one showed interest, and even the United States Railroad Administration, which nationalized the industry during World War I, initially saw no value in the property. Without an end-to-end broker, KCM&O was of little use.

Then the Santa Fe became interested, thanks in part to KCM&O's growing oil business; In 1927, about 50% of freight traffic was entirely oil. AT&SF saw this business as quite lucrative.

Not only would it strengthen its operations in Texas, but it would also prevent a competitor from potentially opening another transcontinental corridor. It acquired KCM&O in 1928 for $14 million.

AT&SF was not interested in the Mexican property and sold it for $600,000, including a $900,000 mortgage, to Benjamin Francis Johnson, a Sinaloa sugar plantation owner. He could not pay the rest and the Mexican government took over the property in 1940.

Chihuahua an die Pacific Railroad

The Santa Fe completed its segments quickly, but Mexico was much slower. The $88 million program was eventually launched in 1958 under the leadership of Mexico's new President, Adolfo López Mateos.

Thanks to his perseverance, the railroad was completed on November 20, 1961.

The Santa Fe and Ferrocarril de Chihuahua al Pacífico (part of the state-owned Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México, or FNM) traded some goods through the Presidio Gate, although it never materialized as the major transcontinental corridor that Stilwell I anticipated.

In an interesting twist, a new source of business emerged as the line's stunning scenery attracted more and more tourists.

(Video) How is The MOST Scenic TRAIN Route in Mexico? | El Chepe Express

Today, the Chihuahua al Pacífico Railroad still operates, albeit as part of Ferromex, the largest private railroad in Mexico.

current service

In an article titled "Mexico's New Copper Canyon Train Chases Upscale Clientele" by Trains Magazine's News Wire, published March 8, 2019, theChepe-ExpressThey became the newest excursions in Copper Canyon when they debuted on May 17, 2018.

In its first year, the train attracted around 19,000 visitors. It currently offers two levels of service; Business Class (First) and Tourist Class. Both are inexpensive.

The train, operated by Grupo México (owner of Ferromex), runs year-round and covers 406 miles from Chihuahua to Los Mochis (near Topolobampo) and of course features the very scenic component of the Copper Canyon, which extends composed of about 248 miles south of Kreel. .

The company claims its busiest times are the weeks around Easter and Christmas, and the summer season from July to August.

They also recommend that anyone planning to travel during these times book their trip at least four months in advance. Since the excursion can be completed in a single day, no thresholds are attached to itChepe-Express.

The train comprises a total of six wagons; Offerings range from snack and drink bars to dining room and dome service!

In addition to the train, you can also take advantage of a variety of other fun activities such as: B. A cable car ride in Divisidero, historical sites in El Fuerte and great restaurants in Los Mochis.

In his article "A Copper Canyon Odyssey: Aboard classic post-war American passenger cars, travelers experience Mexico's most spectacular train journey' from the February 1997 issue ofBahn MagazineAuthor Karl Zimmermann describes another interesting aspect of this trip, the interaction with the Tarahumara (or Rarámuri) Indians who have lived in the Copper Canyon region for many centuries.

While they are shy and reserved, their wares and handicrafts can be purchased at different times of the year.

(Video) VULFPECK /// El Chepe

  1. Haus
  2. rail travel
  3. Chepe-Express


How long is the El Chepe train ride? ›

As El Chepe chugs along its 653 km (405 mi) of track, a journey which takes anywhere from 9 to 16 hours, it crosses over 37 bridges and through 86 tunnels. It climbs to an elevation of 2400 m (7900 ft) and descends to sea level, passing through diverse and stunning scenery along the way.

How much is Chepe train in Mexico? ›

Get to know the Chepe Express rates
StationsFirst ClassExecutive Class
To Los Mochis$3,400$2,300
To El Fuerte$2,250$1,450
To Divisadero$1,850$1,050
To Creel$1,900$1,100
25 more rows

Where does the Copper Canyon train ride start and end? ›

The train to Copper Canyon runs from Chihuahua to Los Mochis to travel the entire route or the other way around. This magnificent railway winds through breathtaking scenery above 8,000 feet to sea level, with 87 tunnels and 36 bridges, providing the ideal environment for a thrilling Copper Canyon train trip.

Where is El Chepe train? ›

The El Chepe train is the only passenger train in Mexico. It is located in Chihuahua and most visitors come here because of the Copper Canyon.

What is the most beautiful train ride in Mexico? ›

Copper Canyon Railroad

This journey crosses some of Mexico's most spectacular terrain, much of it inaccessible by other means. Said to be four times the size of the Grand Canyon, Copper Canyon in the northwest state of Chihuahua is actually several canyons, the deepest at 6,167 feet.

How much does it cost to ride El Chepe? ›

The El Chepe takes the Creel-Los Mochis route on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, while it goes the other way on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Cost: For tourists, the price for the trip to Copper Canyon using the El Chepe Express amounts to 2,200 pesos or $108, and 3,100 pesos or $152 return.

What is the difference between Chepe Express and Chepe Regional? ›

El Chepe Regional is the more economical train and it travels from Los Mochis and heads all the way north to Chihuahua then back to Los Mochis. El Chepe Express is the nicer train created more for tourism. The Express train starts in Los Mochis but only goes north to Creel before heading back down south to Los Mochis.

What time of year is best to see Copper Canyon? ›

The season from September through April is an ideal time to go to the Copper Canyon, as the temperatures drop to the comfortable range, the humidity has gone down, and the mosquitoes are not around (this is huge). The rainy season in the Copper Canyon is from June through September.

Is Copper Canyon worth it? ›

The train ride through the Copper Canyon is remarkable, the scenery is beautiful, and the whole experience creates lifetime memories. One can explore Mexico's Grand Canyon through helicopter rides and adventure tours and make their visit to the wilderness something special.

What is the longest train ride in Colorado? ›

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is a National Historic Landmark. At 64-miles in length, it is the longest, the highest and most authentic steam railroad in North America, traveling through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Rocky Mountain West.

What does Chepe mean in English? ›

chepe [m/f] CR. nosey person.

What is the longest train ride in Mexico? ›

El Chepe, also know as Chihuahua Pacifico, is the only train for travellers from Mexico. Across the 650 kilometres of railway line that it covers, majestic landscapes pass before your eyes. Indeed, it crosses the Copper Canyon, called the Barranca del Cobre by Mexicans.

Can you take a train from Mexico to USA? ›

As the only railroad to serve all six U.S./Mexico gateways, Union Pacific offers the most competitive international routes and gateway flexibility.

How long is a train ride from California to New Mexico? ›

There are 2 daily trains from Los Angeles to Albuquerque. Traveling by train from Los Angeles to Albuquerque usually takes around 20 hours and 32 minutes, but the fastest Amtrak train can make the trip in 16 hours and 25 minutes.

How long is a train ride from Mexico to California? ›

The journey, including transfers, takes approximately 47h 37m. How far is it from California to Mexico City? The distance between California and Mexico City is 2709 km.

What is the most luxurious train in us? ›

Rocky Mountaineer

Distinguishing features of the ride include glass-domed rail cars to enjoy the breathtaking views in panoramic beauty, a luxury dining experience and, for those who book the Silver Leaf Plus package, an outdoor observation deck and passenger lounge car.

How much does a Roomette cost on the California Zephyr? ›

Here are estimated California Zephyr prices if you travel the entire route: $150-$300 for coach seat. $700-$1,000 for a roomette (meals, water and coffee included)

How much does it cost to go to Copper Canyon? ›

Prices for 5-day core tour packages starting in Los Mochis or Chihuahua start from US$820 per person, and based on two people sharing a room. Prices for 7-day core tour packages starting in Los Mochis or Chihuahua start from US$955 per person, and based on two people sharing a room.

What is the phone number for El Chepe train? ›

Customers may reserve and pay for their tickets up to one year in advance by the following means: Through our website: or call toll free 800-122-4373.

Is there a train that travels all over the Copper Canyon? ›

The Copper Canyon Train Tour on the first-class express takes around 4 hours. It is a spectacular journey, and well worth doing – but you MUST book in advance. A journey through Copper Canyon is one of the most enthralling journeys you can take in Mexico.

What is the Grand Canyon train called? ›

Make a Grand Trip the Grandest

The historic Grand Canyon Railway departs daily from Williams, Arizona to the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon.

What are 4 types of transportation at the Copper Canyon? ›

There are three forms of public transportation that are available to visitors to the Copper Canyon area, which are buses, trains, and taxis. Many people who visit Copper Canyon choose to fly into one of its largest two city neighbors: Los Mochis and Chihuahua.

What animals live in Copper Canyon? ›

Among the wild animals in the area are black bears, pumas, otters, and white-tailed deer. The canyons are also home to over 300 species of birds, and many more migratory birds can be seen in the area during the winter months.

What is Copper Canyon famous for? ›

Mexico's Copper Canyon is home to the fastest long-distance runners in the world. The Tarahumara people, or Rarámuri as they're known in their own language, call the Copper Canyon home.

Is the Copper Canyon deeper than the Grand Canyon? ›

This canyon system is larger and deeper than the Grand Canyon in the neighboring United States, although the Grand Canyon is larger overall than any of the individual canyons of the Copper Canyon system. There are actually six separate canyons in the Copper Canyon system.

Is Copper Canyon better than Grand Canyon? ›

Copper Canyon Is Bigger

of the Copper Canyon System is greater than the area of 1,902 sq. mi. (4,926 sq km) corresponding to the Grand Canyon. The fact that Copper Canyon is much larger than the Grand Canyon implies that there are much more exciting things to see and to do, including more canyons to explore.

How safe is Copper Canyon train ride? ›

The Copper Canyon is a safe travel destination. We have been living in El Fuerte, and traveling to the Copper Canyon, for almost 20 years, and have never had a personal security problem, and much less with the over 2210 clients for which we have arranged trips into the Copper Canyon.

What is bigger Grand Canyon or Copper Canyon? ›

The Copper Canyon, nestled in the Sierra Madre Range, is actually several large canyons boasting a grandeur four times larger than the Grand Canyon of the United States, although different in nature; narrower, deeper, and more verdant.

What is the most scenic train ride in Colorado? ›


The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway — the world's highest cog railway — is easily one of the most famous Colorado train rides, with its apex at the 14,115-foot summit of Pikes Peak.

What is the best scenic train ride in Denver? ›

Considered by many to be the most spectacular stretch of rail in America, the Royal Gorge Route offers the best experience of the Royal Gorge on a breathtaking, two- or three-hour scenic and historic train ride on the most famous portion of the former Denver & Rio Grande Western train line.

What is the famous train in Colorado? ›

Of all the train rides in Colorado, the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is likely the most famous. A winner of several travel awards and designated National Historic Landmark, it's a southern Colorado experience you won't want to miss.

How long is the Grand Canyon railway ride? ›

The trip measures 65 miles and takes 2 hours and 15 minutes each way—45 minutes faster than in 1901 when the train made its first trip. The train departs Grand Canyon Depot each afternoon for the return trip to the Williams Depot. All aboard!

How long is train ride in Copper Canyon? ›

The Copper Canyon Train Tour on the first-class express takes around 4 hours. It is a spectacular journey, and well worth doing – but you MUST book in advance. A journey through Copper Canyon is one of the most enthralling journeys you can take in Mexico.

How long is the Verde Canyon railroad ride? ›

Breathe deep, order a drink and relax as you glide along on a 4-hour, 20-mile journey through 110 years of history while still enjoying modern creature comforts like climate control, comfortable seating, thoughtful décor and awe-inspired scenery.

How long is the train ride in Alaska? ›

The Alaska Railroad's flagship train. Every summer morning, the northbound Denali Star Train departs Anchorage for the 356-mile, 12-hour journey to Fairbanks, with stops in Wasilla, Talkeetna and Denali National Park; while in Fairbanks, the southbound Denali Star embarks on the reverse.


1. First Class Mexican Breakfast on Luxury Train El Chepe 🇲🇽
(Volpe Drunk and Hungry)
2. VULFPECK /// El Chepe (Live at SiriusXM)
3. Narcos - Chepe Santa Cruz
(Well That’s Retarded)
4. Creel - The Chepe is comming
(Ale Aguirre)
5. Inside the Chepe
(Ale Aguirre)
6. Defying gravity riding the chepe train between chihuahua and los mochis!Big fun!
(Jose Noriega)


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