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International Railroad Discussion > FCCA SD40T-2/SD40-2 climb 4% Horseshoe curve out of San Bartolome


Date: 11/11/19 20:32
FCCA SD40T-2/SD40-2 climb 4% Horseshoe curve out of San Bartolome
Author: inCHI

This the first of several Peru photo/video posts I'll eventually make. The video shows a Ferrocarril Centro Andino train climbing the grade out of San Bartolome, Peru, with an ex-KCS exx-SP SP40T-2 leading a SD40-2 and a train of 37 cars. Pardon the technical issues in the video - the first clip was a scramble, I was driving to Lima on the main road and saw smoke billowing up and guessed and train was coming, and I just barely got a camera on a tripod out in time. The second/third clip were after guessing that I could go a up road and catch the train again, and in the process of fumbling with a lens I managed to smudge it, which I only found out later. But I think the sound is excellent on the later clip as the train climbs the 4%+ grade. Even though all or most cars are emptys, the engines are really grinding it out. The right of way has new(ish) 115-pound welded rail and good ballast, something I saw in evidence in many sections of FCCA as a recent improvement.

This is actually the last FCCA clip I was able to record and it helped explain more about their operations. This train is double the length of what operates on the next section of the railway, between Balta Yard and the summit. San Bartolome is a famous location, where there is a one ended switchback and a turntable. That switchback, though, is the only one between Lima/Callao and the Balta Yard, which is about 14 km east of here, upgrade on the constantly 4%+ grade. After the Balta Yard, there are many switchbacks with short stub ends that fit trains of about 18 cars + engine at most. Also, that section has the tighter clearances, which require the clearance-modified C30-7's and C39-8's. So, between Callao/Lima and Balta, trains run less frequently and longer, with two engines (maybe), and they do the work to get the longer trains shuffled through the one switchback at this video location. This is the only segment to spot these EMD's on, since they aren't clearance modified. At Balta, empty trains like this get split up, or loaded trains get assembled, the engines get swapped if needed, and there is greater train frequency east of there as a result. Later, I'll have posts of Balta Yard, which I was lucky enough to have within view of lodging at I stayed at for two nights. As I saw operations there it became clear that it was harder to catch trains on the section show in this video, and it was awesome to see the EMD's fighting this grade.

Also, there is a photo of track between the first video location and the second/third. I wish I could have caught the train here to show the incredible engineering of this sweeping horseshoe curve, but I wanted to make sure I was set up at the next locaiton (which I wasn't even sure was a possible shooting location.) It's hard to see from just the photo, but with such a steep grade the track rises on the curve in a way that stands out so much compared to American grades. It reappears on the upper left side after that curve.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/11/19 20:35 by inCHI.



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Date: 11/11/19 22:41
Re: FCCA SD40T-2/SD40-2 climb 4% Horseshoe curve out of San Barto
Author: gaspeamtrak

That was "amazing " !!! 
Looking forward to more ... :):):)
Thank you for sharing !!! :):):)



Date: 11/12/19 09:18
Re: FCCA SD40T-2/SD40-2 climb 4% Horseshoe curve out of San Barto
Author: SP8595

AWESOME! Incredible sound in video #3 sure brings back memories:}



Date: 11/12/19 10:37
Re: FCCA SD40T-2/SD40-2 climb 4% Horseshoe curve out of San Barto
Author: 86235

Splendid stuff!!!!



Date: 11/12/19 11:37
Re: FCCA SD40T-2/SD40-2 climb 4% Horseshoe curve out of San Barto
Author: czuleget

I really miss the sound of the Tunnel motors working up hill hard. Great sound and clip. 



Date: 11/13/19 07:57
Re: FCCA SD40T-2/SD40-2 climb 4% Horseshoe curve out of San Barto
Author: zorz

Absolutely wonderful! I've always loved the Peruvian railways and also grew up next to the SP. Seeing a tunnel motor running on that line is great :)



Date: 11/13/19 16:05
Re: FCCA SD40T-2/SD40-2 climb 4% Horseshoe curve out of San Barto
Author: inCHI

Thanks for all the comments, glad it is enjoyable! Next up - GE's on the hill, through tunnels, bridges, and switchbacks. Plus a post will show where this train was going (Balta)



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