The completion of the Trans-Andean railway between Valparaiso and Buenos Aires was bound to be of immense commercial and industrial value; and eventually the making of a longitudinal railway route uniting the nitrate province of the north with Santiago, and Santiago with Puerto Montt in the distant south, opened up further important prospects.
A large species of barnacle, Balanus psittacus, is found in great abundance from Concepcion to Puerto Montt, and is not only eaten by the natives, by whom it is called Pico, but is also esteemed a great delicacy in the markets of Valparaiso and Santiago.
A fleet of armed ships was fitted out at Valparaiso in Chile, under the command of Lord Cochrane (afterwards earl of Dundonald) and officered by Englishmen.
The city has a public library (1905), and is the seat of an Institute of Telegraphy (founded in 1874; chartered in 1900) and of Valparaiso University (1873; formerly known as the Valparaiso Normal Training School).
In the shoal waters about Juan Fernandez are found a species of codfish (possibly Gadus macrocephalus), differing in some particulars from the Newfoundland cod, and a large crayfish, both of which are caught for the Valparaiso market.
Development of these lines has been primarily an extension from the large cities in the East to the agricultural districts in the West, but a change of great importance was brought about in 1910 by the completion of the last tunnel on the Argentine Transandine Railway, which serves to connect Santiago, Valparaiso and the other great cities of the west coast with Buenos Ayres, Montevideo, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro and the other great cities of the east coast.
When the Germans at Valparaiso acclaimed him a naval hero, he shook his head.
The Straits of Magellan were occupied; under an American engineer, William Wheelwright, a line of steamers was started on the coast, and, by a wise measure allowing merchandise to be landed free of duty for re-exportation, Valparaiso became a busy port and trading centre; while the demand for food-stuffs in California and Australia, following upon the rush for gold, gave a strong impetus to agriculture.
A branch of the Valparaiso and Santiago line runs to Los Andes, and its extension across the Andes connects with the Argentine lines from Buenos Aires to Mendoza and the Chilean frontier-all sections together forming a transcontinental route about 850 m.
A force of io,000 men was now raised by the junta of the revolution, and preparations were rapidly pushed forward for a move to the south with the object of attacking Valparaiso and Santiago.