The venture, now world-renowned, was born at the initiative of the authorities of the General Belgrano Railroad, who, at the end of 1971, decided to run a train with a Ganz-Mavag experimental high-mountain motor car with officials and journalists, the idea of a tourist train between Salta and Kilometer 1.350, that is the La Polvorilla Viaduct. The idea and management were consolidated months later by the tenacity of the Chamber of Hoteliers and the will of the railway authorities of Salta.
According to the journalist and writer Luis Borelli, the name ͞Tren a las Nubes͟ is due to a colored film made by two Tucumán cameramen who, in the 60s before the tourist exploitation, made the Salta / Socompa section on board the train . When they reached La Polvorilla Viaduct, the machine made a side discharge of steam that, due to the low temperature of the place, did not dissipate quickly and remained floating for a few moments in the Puno air. The work was offered to the Railway, which later gave it to Clarín newspaper journalist Emilio Petcoff, to make the script of the documentary. The reporter, watching the filming, was attracted by the jet of steam that embraced the machine in La Polvorilla and titled that job “Train to the Clouds”. Later, Ferrocarriles Argentinos adopted that name for the only railway tourism undertaking that the country had at that time, which covered 217 km of the C14 branch.