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International Railroad Discussion > La Plata in Buenos Aires Province, October 1990


Date: 04/23/20 03:15
La Plata in Buenos Aires Province, October 1990
Author: 86235

La Plata about 35 miles SE of Buenos Aires is the state capital of the province of Buenos Aires. It's a large city in its own right, connected to the federal capital by road and rail. The railway is the broad gauge former FCS which ran a train every 20-30 minutes in each direction, all were loco hauled. Here's a sample of what you could see.

1: The interior of the train shed with a Pza Constitucion train ready to leave.
2: The head end building with a Fiat Concord railcar set leaving on a local train within La Plata
3: The Pza Constitucion bound train pulling out. Note the mechanical signalling, the entire route was signalled mechanically using AB (Absolute Block) from signal cabins equipped by the Railway Signal Company of Liverpool.

Now a word on how the railways were organised in 1990. Ferrocarriles Argentinos was split into six operating divisions, named after national heroes; four were the former British owned broad gauge networks, which had been acquired by Argentina in 1948 in lieu of debts incurred by the UK during WW2, one was an amalgam of the standard gauge lines, principally in the NE of the country and one was a collection of the various metre gauge operations - private and public which, for the most part, were concentrated in the more remote and therefore less commercially attractive parts of the country. The four broad gauge divisions were the FC Roca, the former Southern Railway; FC Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, the former Buenos Aires Western Railway; FC Bartoleme Mitre, the former Central Argentine and the FC San Martin, the former Buenos Aires and Pacific. The FC Urquiza was the standard gauge operation, it consisted of the former Buenos Aires Central (the only railway company owned by national as opposed to international interests) and the two British companies, the Argentine North Eastern and the Entre Rios. The latter two connected to the former by a train ferry across the Parana near Zarate, which had been replaced by a bridge in the 1980s. The metre gauge railway was the FC Belgrano, which had two commuter operations in Buenos Aires, out of Retiro (Belgrano) and a strange little station in an unlovely part of the city west of Pza Constitucion (the former Buenos Aires Midland). In the early 1990s the railways were privatised, long distance services, except in the Province of Buenos Aires, virtually disappeared, commuter operations were franchised with a variety of results, some good but mostly bad, and a number of freight operators returned to the names of the pre-nationalisation railways. Since then there's been an untidy amalgam of private  / public ownership, some new Chinese equipment has appeared and plenty of secondhand stuff from Europe. There appears to have been some attempt at improving the roadbed on some lines, but I just watch from afar, I think I may have to return....



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/23/20 09:23 by 86235.








Date: 04/23/20 07:03
Re: La Plata in Buenos Aires Province, October 1990
Author: nm2320

Thank you very much. We were leaving to Buenos Aires on March 7 to spend few days doing what you did before catching a cruise. Decided to cancel so I wouldn't catch something else. 

Now in solitude until the pestilence is purged from the planet. 



Date: 04/23/20 10:04
Re: La Plata in Buenos Aires Province, October 1990
Author: zorz

Fascinating stuff! Thanks for posting.

86235 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> La Plata about 35 miles SE of Buenos Aires is the
> state capital of the province of Buenos Aires.
> It's a large city in its own right, connected to
> the federal capital by road and rail. The railway
> is the broad gauge former FCS which ran a train
> every 20-30 minutes in each direction, all were
> loco hauled. Here's a sample of what you could
> see.
>
> 1: The interior of the train shed with a Pza
> Constitucion train ready to leave.
> 2: The head end building with a Fiat Concord
> railcar set leaving on a local train within La
> Plata
> 3: The Pza Constitucion bound train pulling out.
> Note the mechanical signalling, the entire route
> was signalled mechanically using AB (Absolute
> Block) from signal cabins equipped by the Railway
> Signal Company of Liverpool.
>
> Now a word on how the railways were organised in
> 1990. Ferrocarriles Argentinos was split into six
> operating divisions, named after national heroes;
> four were the former British owned broad gauge
> networks, which had been acquired by Argentina in
> 1948 in lieu of debts incurred by the UK during
> WW2, one was an amalgam of the standard gauge
> lines, principally in the NE of the country and
> one was a collection of the various metre gauge
> operations - private and public which, for the
> most part, were concentrated in the more remote
> and therefore less commercially attractive parts
> of the country. The four broad gauge divisions
> were the FC Roca, the former Southern Railway; FC
> Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, the former Buenos
> Aires Western Railway; FC Bartoleme Mitre, the
> former Central Argentine and the FC San Martin,
> the former Buenos Aires and Pacific. The FC
> Urquiza was the standard gauge operation, it
> consisted of the former Buenos Aires Central (the
> only railway company owned by national as opposed
> to international interests) and the two British
> companies, the Argentine North Eastern and the
> Entre Rios. The latter two connected to the former
> by a train ferry across the Parana near Zarate,
> which had been replaced by a bridge in the 1980s.
> The metre gauge railway was the FC Belgrano, which
> had two commuter operations in Buenos Aires, out
> of Retiro (Belgrano) and a strange little station
> in an unlovely part of the city west of Pza
> Constitucion (the former Buenos Aires Midland). In
> the early 1990s the railways were privatised, long
> distance services, except in the Province of
> Buenos Aires, virtually disappeared, commuter
> operations were franchised with a variety of
> results, some good but mostly bad, and a number of
> freight operators returned to the names of the
> pre-nationalisation railways. Since then there's
> been an untidy amalgam of private  / public
> ownership, some new Chinese equipment has appeared
> and plenty of secondhand stuff from Europe. There
> appears to have been some attempt at improving the
> roadbed on some lines, but I just watch from afar,
> I think I may have to return....



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