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Asuncion and the heartland: Visit Sapucai: railway village and museum

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Visit Sapucai: railway village and museum

Deep in the countryside and around 90km (2hrs) from Paraguay’s capital Asuncion, the capital, sleepy Sapucai feels well and truly like the end of the line, although the railway which passed through it once ran all the way to Encarnación. This seemingly forgotten village was once the most important centre of Paraguay's railway industry. Paraguay's railways were built by English engineers, and a visit to this whimsical, nostalgic if somewhat forlorn tribute to a bygone age is a must for railway aficionados.

 As you explore the enormous train sheds, now a museum, you can see wagons and old machinery bearing British insignia whilst steam engines lie in their final resting places, both inside the sheds and abandoned outside in overgrown fields. Wherever you wander, Sapucai is a fascinating and somewhat haunting place and the presence of the British of over 100 years ago is palpable even today. Near the railway is Villa Inglesa, a jumble of tumbledown houses and once-grand villas built by the engineers, many of which are still lived in.

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