This is the most complicated level crossing I’ve ever seen. Usually, a level crossing is a simple matter with one or several tracks (2 ways) and one road (2 ways). Here, in the center of Ilo, 11 ways converge at the same point: we have a railway junction (3 ways), a footbridge junction (3 ways) and a road junction (5 ways). Fortunately the pedestrians have a footbridge which removes some “traffic” from the level crossing. With the city center very close, this place is dangerous thus a radio-equipped railroad agent is always present when a train comes. He stands on the right of the picture. He will avoid potential problems with road traffic jam and with the occasional drunk coming out of some nearby bar.
The railroad junction allows the main line to connect with the Ilo harbor yard and the railroad maintenance shops. The train has just started its long journey to the Toquepala or Cuajone mine up in the Andes. It is composed of empty copper concentrate hoppers, empty covered flat cars for the transportation of copper plates, tank cars and box cars carrying industrial supplies to the mines, e.g. fuel, limestone (seashells), spare parts for the mining equipment, etc.