Latin America: Government Operated

Britain unloaded her largest single overseas investment last week and Argentina became owner of her own railroad system.

Soon after the Crimean War, Britain shipped to Argentina a holdful of war surplus: one locomotive, several coaches, and six miles of track originally ordered for the siege of Sevastopol. Argentines promptly called the locomotive La Portena, proudly watched it chuff out of Buenos Aires in August 1857. In the years that followed, the six miles of track grew to 27,000—over half of it broad Russian gauge (5 ft. 6 in.) like La, Portena's. Because Britain kept her finger in the succulent Argentine railway...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!