For visitors to the Copper Canyon, a train ride is a must. The famous train runs from Chihuahua City to Los Mochis, Sinaloa on the Pacific coast.
Known as ChP or Chepe – chepe.mx – the dramatic 653-kilometer (406-mile) trip takes 16 hours, including brief stops on the first-class run and longer and more frequent stops on the second-class service. The train roars through the Sierra Madre Occidental, generally barreling through the mountainsides, although there are plenty of switchbacks. This railroad line includes 87 tunnels and 37 soaring bridges.
Note that windows facing south provide the best views of the canyons. You can always leave your seat and check out the passing scenery from the loading area in between the train cars. Of course, there are times when the train is delayed due to washouts, rock falls, heavy snow and derailments, and in these situations patience and a sense of humor or a pack of playing cards will serve you well. Soon, you will be whisked across the Sierra. Purchase tickets in advance in Chihuahua City or in Los Mochis.
The railroad was completed in 1961.
In 1998, the private rail franchise Ferrocarril Mexicano took over the railroad from the Mexican government. It operates the Chepe line.