Nitrate Railway Line

Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works2005

UNESCO World Heritage

UNESCO World Heritage

During the nitrate boom, there were over two hundred saltpetre works in northern Chile. All of them were interconnected by a specially-built modern railway system, whose construction began in the second half of the 19th century and was financed by private British companies. The remains of the line that linked Humberstone and Santa Laura reveal the great infrastructure that made the transportation of nitrate over 45 kilometres possible, from the saltpetre offices to the port of Iquique. Once in Iquique, nitrate was shipped and exported to North America and Europe.


  • Title: Nitrate Railway Line
  • Creator: Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works
  • Date Created: 2005
  • Location Created: Chile
  • Rights: Jorge López, SNPC
  • Location: Chile
  • Inscription Criteria: Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)
  • Date of Inscription: 2005
  • Category of Site: List of World Heritage in Danger

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