The first train line in Bolivia was Uyuni - Antofagasta and started to work in 1899. It was built by British engineers who arrived near the end of the 19th century and formed a sizable community in Uyuni. The rail construction started in 1888 and ended in 1892. It was encouraged by the then Bolivian President Aniceto Arce, who believed Bolivia would flourish with a good transport system, but it was also constantly sabotaged by the local Aymara indigenous Indians who saw it as an intrusion into their lives. The trains were mostly used by the mining companies.
Uyuni - Antofagasta train line transported vagons fully stocked with silver mainly extrated from the Huanchaca mine. The trains arrived to Bolivia with huge expectations of economic progress that were never fulfilled.