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International Railroad Discussion > FCAB Chile...the loops at Cumbre

Date: 06/24/20 11:25
FCAB Chile...the loops at Cumbre
Author: masterphots

One of the great photo spots on FCAB is just downgrade from Cumbre,  the summit on the line from Prat to the port at Mejillones.  Here there are back-to-back horseshoe curves as the line descends to the coast.  Here is a sequence of FCAB 2005 westbound through the loops on 8/16/11.  You can drive to the spot, climb a hill at dawn and watch the action.   This train is powered by three former Queensland Ry Clyde-EMD GL26Cs.  It originates at Mitsubishi's San Cristobol mine in Bolivia.  The pots contain lead concentrate (gray pots) and manganese or other non-copper concentrate (red pots).  At Mejillones they are loaded on ships for export to Japan.  It's a scheduled operation and if on-time, which it usually is,  passes through the loops around 10-11 am.  The following eight photos show the operation.

These trains often have helpers in either direction.  The new EMD GT42ACs are not used on these trains as the line from Calama up to the border with Bolivia has not been upgraded with heavier rail, which the weight of the new units require. There are no plans to do so as the San Cristobol mine is scheduled for closing by 2024 or so, as the minerals are played out.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/24/20 11:33 by masterphots.

Date: 06/24/20 11:28
Re: FCAB Chile...the loops at Cumbre
Author: masterphots

Around the second curve....note track from the first photo in the foreground

Date: 06/24/20 11:30
Re: FCAB Chile...the loops at Cumbre
Author: masterphots

As the train curves through the cut it drops down the other side of the mountains and in a few miles will be on level ground on the way to the port.

Date: 06/24/20 16:20
Re: FCAB Chile...the loops at Cumbre
Author: Utahfannz

Great series, keep them coming.

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