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Transportation in El Salvador


As of 2000, there were 2,827 km of paved highways and a total of 10,886 km in the road network. The Pan American Highway links El Salvador with Guatemala in the northwest and Honduras in the southeast. The Cuscatlán Bridge, where the Pan American Highway crosses the Lempa River, was the main thoroughfare for travel between eastern and western El Salvador at the time of its destruction by guerrillas in January 1984. In 2000, registered passenger vehicles numbered about 54,088, and commercial vehicles numbered 80,652.

El Salvador had 283 km of public-service railway tracks in 2008. The major domestic rail lines are operated by the National Railway of El Salvador, which was formed in 1975 by a merger of the Railways of El Salvador and the US-owned International Railways of Central America. There are rail connections to Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, which, under an agreement with the government of Guatemala, provides El Salvador with a port on the Caribbean. Another line runs west from La Unión/Cutuco to the El Salvador Guatemala border, providing a rail link to Mexico. The entire rail system is narrow gauge and single track.

The country's two ports, La Unión/Cutuco and Acajutla, are located on the Pacific coast. Finished goods arrive at Guatemalan or Honduran ports and are trucked into El Salvador. In 2002, El Salvador had no registered cargo ships. Inland waterway traffic is negligible, with only the Rio Lempa partially navigable.

In 2010, there were an estimated 65 airports but only four of which had paved runways. El Salvador is linked with the entire Western Hemisphere, Europe, and the Far East through international air services provided by Transportes Aéreos Centroamericanos (TACA) and other transportation companies. The principal airport, El Salvador International, is near San Salvador. In 2001, 2,192,300 passengers were carried on scheduled domestic and international airline flights.


Airports :
65 (2010)

Airports - with paved runways :
total: 4
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways :
total: 61
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 13
under 914 m: 47 (2010)

Heliports :
1 (2010)

Railways :
total: 283 km
narrow gauge: 283 km 0.914-m gauge
note: railways have been inoperable since 2005 because of disuse and high costs that led to a lack of maintenance (2008)

Roadways :
total: 10,886 km
paved: 2,827 km (includes 327 km of expressways)
unpaved: 8,059 km (2000)

Waterways :
Rio Lempa is partially navigable for small craft (2010)

Ports and terminals :
Acajutla, Puerto Cutuco





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