Inca Rail and Andean Railways, both locally owned companies, have signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding for the creation of Peru’s second largest private passenger rail company – and the partnership may result in a full merger.
Until now, Inca Rail and Andean Railways operated independent rail services carrying tourists between the Sacred Valley of the Incas and Machu Picchu but, under a new MoU, they have combined forces and created a strategic alliance that will enable them to share each other‘s knowledge, expertise and resources.
Juan Alberto Forsyth, Chief Executive of Inca Rail, said: “This is still work in progress, but we are already benefiting from many operational synergies and we are providing our passengers with improved services and facilities. This is a partnership of like-minded organisations. Our friends at Andean Railways share our belief in the importance of great customer service, sustainable and authentic travel experiences and the care and protection of Peru’s amazing natural environment.”
The formation of the alliance is timely as Peru’s tourism industry continues to grow from strength to strength with Claudia Cornejo Mohme, Vice Minister of Tourism for Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism, stating at the recent South American Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference: “The government is working to promote tourism because we know it’s an activity that creates jobs enormously and also brings investment into the region. The flow of tourism is very positive for us. When we speak about tourist infrastructure, we have a lot of room to grow.”
While there are various hiking trails that can get you to Machu Picchu, most visitors to and from the impressive UNESCO World Heritage Site by train. Inca Rail and Andean Railways expect to carry 200,000 passengers and 40,000 passengers respectively by the end of this year via 12 daily departures from Ollantaytambo, in the Sacred Valley, and returning from Machu Picchu. By combining their marketing and operational resources, the new partnership expects traffic to grow to well over 250,000 passengers in 2013 and it plans to double this level of activity by 2015.
“Inca Rail offers passengers a traditional Peruvian experience with local tapestries and works of art in our carriages, all-table seating, panoramic viewing windows, air conditioning and impeccable service,” added Juan Alberto. “We offer four distinct carriages catering to the individual preferences of guests, from comfortable Tourist Class and Executive Class, to a luxurious First Class and an exclusive Presidential Class. Snacks and natural beverages are served on the first two classes, while a full on-board menu with cocktails and wines awaits guests in First and Presidential Classes.
“The Andean Railways service, affectionately known as ‘The Machu Picchu Train’, offers excellent value for money with comfortable seating and snacks, light meals and drinks served by friendly and knowledgeable staff.
“We anticipate that the substantial organisational and passenger advantages created by this exciting new partnership may well result in a full merger.”