The first railway in Nicaragua opened in 1880 between Corinto and Pasocaballos, a distance of 7km. The line to Chinandega, 13km further on, was officially inaugurated the following year, although the viaduct at Pasocaballos was not completed until 1882. The gauge chosen for the line was 3ft 6in (1067mm), which was also used for later expansion in the country. A few isolated lines were constructed to standard gauge in the 20th century.
The majority of the lines were built to serve a relatively small area of the Pacific coast provinces of the country, including the capital Managua. At its greatest extent, the total length of the network was about 380km.
Most of the railways had closed by the mid-1990s although one 6km line, serving a power station and sugar mill near Chichigalpa, survived into the early years of the 21st century.
Flag image from CIA World Factbook