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International Railroad Discussion > FCAB Zinc Conentrate on the Salt Flats


Date: 06/25/19 17:55
FCAB Zinc Conentrate on the Salt Flats
Author: erielackawanna

My apologies to the seventh railfan who was with us for the Bolivian frontier fanning. I guess the thin air got to me when writing up the previous post, but there were actually seven of us total and we had three cars. One of them, the car I was in, was low on gas and we were almost 200 Km from a gas station. Add to that, my iPhone decided it was time to update... in Chile... in the most remote part of Chile... with a US SIM card... so the update wouldn't complete... making the phone a drink coaster. And... yes AND... my very cool REI hat that I bought for the trip came rolling out of the car at a stop, rolling down the hill of lichen to the salt flat below while I watched helplessly knowing I was on about 50% normal oxygen.

Was it worth it? Damn straight. With the sun going down we wound up only getting photos of the westbound zinc concentrate train from Minera San Cristobal (Bolivia) at the salt flats in Carcote, but the pics were really cool to get. The train appeared at the other end of the salt flats a tad later than we thought, and then the wait began. I don't know the actual operating speed, but I suspect it was about 5MPH as we watched that headlight on the causeway forever before it got close enough for a shot. After shooting the train coming off the causeway, we raced up about a 1/2 mile farther up the highway to grab some shots of it coming around the shore. Although the going away glint light vanished seconds before the train reached it, was still happy about the shot.

From there we drove down to the Route 21 crossing, but darkness was gaining on us. A Chilean police car pulled up and asked what we were doing (waiting for the train). We in turn asked them if there was any place to get gas other than Calama. They responded, Calama. We took everything out of the car with low gas, including the two of us not driving. Then we caravaned back to Calama and believe it or not, made it to the gas station! The world was good.

Images one through three are on the salt flats.

 








Date: 06/25/19 17:56
Re: FCAB Zinc Conentrate on the Salt Flats
Author: erielackawanna

​Images four through six are climbing the hill along the shore.








Date: 06/26/19 04:09
Re: FCAB Zinc Conentrate on the Salt Flats
Author: 86235

In image three as the train's coming off the causeway over the Salar de Carcote there are some wagons on the right, they were there in 2012!



Date: 06/26/19 06:57
Re: FCAB Zinc Conentrate on the Salt Flats
Author: Bob3985

A great series of photos.

Bob Krieger
Cheyenne, WY



Date: 06/26/19 16:20
Re: FCAB Zinc Conentrate on the Salt Flats
Author: DKay

Another stunning set of photos from Sth America.I find your comments about lack of oxygen interesting.What elevation is this area.I have spent most of my almost 70 years around 1K Ft above sea level,so even a trip to Chama,Salida,LaVeta was a challenge for me a few years ago.
I had bad headache's for all the time I was there.
Regards,dK



Date: 06/26/19 16:30
Re: FCAB Zinc Conentrate on the Salt Flats
Author: zorz

DKay Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Another stunning set of photos from Sth America.I
> find your comments about lack of oxygen
> interesting.What elevation is this area.I have
> spent most of my almost 70 years around 1K Ft
> above sea level,so even a trip to
> Chama,Salida,LaVeta was a challenge for me a few
> years ago.
> I had bad headache's for all the time I was
> there.
> Regards,dK

I believe where they are varies between 12kft and 14-15kft. So yeah, way higher than Colorado :)



Date: 06/26/19 16:58
Re: FCAB Zinc Conentrate on the Salt Flats
Author: pedrop

Fantastic location. To see it alive can be wonderfull👀👍

Posted from Android

Pedro Rezende
Vespasiano, MG
Minas Gerais Railways



Date: 06/27/19 06:40
Re: FCAB Zinc Conentrate on the Salt Flats
Author: utwazoo

Railroad at Ollague station is 3671 meters above sea level..  Above 12,000 feet.  Driving there from Calama the highway reaches about 13,000 feet.



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