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International Railroad Discussion > Fepasa Chile SD40-2 action


Date: 06/29/20 14:56
Fepasa Chile SD40-2 action
Author: masterphots

Fepasa in Chile has six former BNSF SD40-2s.  These are now used primarily on copper concentrate trains on the line from north of Santiago to the Codelco smelter and port at Las Ventanas.  The smelter receives copper concentrate from three sources.  The first is the Andino mine which is situated on the remaining 20 miles of the meter gauge Transandine north of Los Andes.  Concentrate is hauled in sealed blue containers to Los Andes, where the containers are lifted to wide-gauge (5'6") flatcars for the trip to Ventanas.  The second is from the El Teniente underground mine south of Santiago near the city of Rancagua.   Here sealed blue containers, as well as finished copper cathodes,  are hauled north to Santiago for the trip to Ventanas.  The third source is from the Los Bronces mine high in the Andes. Concentrate is trucked to a loadout from which trains  haul concentrate in tarp-covered open containers to the smelter.   The SD40-2s were purchased and rebuilt in Chile, primarily for this operation.  The loadout is located a bit north of Montenegro.  Due to weight, the SD40-2s cannot be used from the first two mine/loadouts.  But all three lines pass through the town of Llay Llay where the SDs can replace the lighter SD39M-2s on these trains if need be.  The trains from both El Teniente and Los Broces required two units between Santiago and Llay Llay.  From Llay Llay the line is pretty much flat and only one unit is needed.  Copper cathodes from Ventanas are exported,  mostly to China.

Here are photos of the operation at various spots along the line.  The paint schemes on the first three SDs (3301-03) were part of an "Art in Action" program that was to see a number of units painted in designs picked  in a competition of art students.  After the first three it was not continued and as of today,  No. 3302 is now in the current blue/red livery.  The catenary has been out of use since 1997 after Fepasa took over freight operations from the government- run FFCC.  The poles still survive.

1.  3306W from El Teniente nearing Ernesto Meiggs.  9/25/19   The station is named for Ernest Meiggs,  an American who engineered a number of railroads in South America, most notably in Peru.

2.  3303W fron El Teniente leaving Llay Llay  2/14/19.   Cement hoppers were dropped in Llay Llay

3.  3306W from Los Bronces passing the old station at La Cruz  12/20/18



Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 06/30/20 12:31 by masterphots.








Date: 06/29/20 15:00
Re: Fepasa Chile SD40-2 action
Author: masterphots

4.   3305W passes Corolmo  6/18/19

5.   3305W just west of Corolmo  6/18/19

6.   3302W  east of Con Con  6/23/19   These three photos are of trains from the loadout near Montenegro that serves Los Bronces mine.    Anyone in the USA remember the KCS Bicentennial SD40s?



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/01/20 06:20 by masterphots.








Date: 06/29/20 15:04
Re: Fepasa Chile SD40-2 action
Author: masterphots

7.   On with the chase.....3302W  near Con Con  7/23/19

8.  3302W a bit farther along....nearing the beach.  7/23/19

9.  3303E east of Con Con  7/22/19  These three photos are Los Bronces mine trains



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/29/20 17:38 by masterphots.








Date: 06/29/20 15:09
Re: Fepasa Chile SD40-2 action
Author: masterphots

At Con Con,  the line reaches the coast and then heads north along the beach for ten miles to Ventanas. 

10.  3301E  at Con Con  1/17/19   Los Bronces train

11.  3303W  at Con Con  1/17/19    El Teniente train

12.  3306W at Con Con  12/20/18   Los Bronces train

If we're out of quarantine by next summer I've got some other locations further up the coast that need to be explored.  Need to rent a true 4x4 though,  due to heavy sand here and there,  or I'll drive my Subaru on the beach itself.  Another note on this series of photos.  The trains from the Andino mine, are hauled from Los Andes to Llay Llay behind a single SD39M-2,  which normally continues on to Ventanas.  Hence no photos of these trains on this post.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/30/20 12:33 by masterphots.








Date: 06/29/20 22:06
Re: Fepasa Chile SD40-2 action
Author: E25

Very interesting tour! 

I followed your route on Google Maps.  Not quite as good as being there, but one gets an idea of the cool perspectives everywhere you look.

I think you may in fact find running your Subie on the beach north of Con Con might be your best bet.

That is a huge electrical generating plant at La Greda.

Thanks from a housebound Arizona-ite!

Greg Stadter
Phoenix, AZ



Date: 06/30/20 11:14
Re: Fepasa Chile SD40-2 action
Author: mamfahr

> ... The first is the Andino mine which is situated on the remaining 20 miles of the meter
> gauge Transandine north of Los Andes.  Concentrate is hauled in sealed green containers
> to Los Andes, where the containers are lifted to wide-gauge (5'6") flatcars for the trip to Ventanas.

Hello,

Thanks for posting the photos.  Do you recall when they switched from the cylindrical "cans" to the containers on that route?  

Mark  



Date: 06/30/20 12:29
Re: Fepasa Chile SD40-2 action
Author: masterphots

mamfahr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> > ... The first is the Andino mine which
> is situated on the remaining 20 miles of the
> meter
> > gauge Transandine north of Los
> Andes.  Concentrate is hauled in sealed green
> containers
> > to Los Andes, where the containers are lifted
> to wide-gauge (5'6") flatcars for the trip
> to Ventanas.
>
> Hello,
>
> Thanks for posting the photos.  Do you recall
> when they switched from the cylindrical "cans" to
> the containers on that route?  
>
> Mark  

Around May 2017



Date: 07/01/20 03:17
Re: Fepasa Chile SD40-2 action
Author: 55002

Many thanks for uploading the photos, much appreciated. Good to see something totally different. I'm glad I'm not modelling those locos!! chris uk.



Date: 07/01/20 16:43
Re: Fepasa Chile SD40-2 action
Author: Steinzeit2

Thank you for your excellent photographs and text on this and other rail operations in Chile;  very much appreciated.

One question regarding the ex-electrified lines shown in this post:  Were those all meter gauge at one time ?  If so, when, approximately, did the gauge conversion take place ?

With best regards,

SZ



Date: 07/01/20 21:38
Re: Fepasa Chile SD40-2 action
Author: jmt

La Calera is a town 48km NE of Valparaiso, 90km NW of central Santiago.

The metre gauge Northern Network (Red Norte) started at La Calera and ran north to Iquique.

South of La Calera and running as far south as Puerto Montt is the broad gauge Southern Network (Red Sur).
The Southern network was in place prior to the building of the metre gauge northern line

There were some metre gauge east-west branches off the Red Sur, including the trans Andean metre gauge line to Argentina, which started at Los Andes, 55km east of La Calera. 



Date: 07/02/20 06:53
Re: Fepasa Chile SD40-2 action
Author: masterphots

Steinzeit2 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thank you for your excellent photographs and text
> on this and other rail operations in Chile;  very
> much appreciated.
>
> One question regarding the ex-electrified lines
> shown in this post:  Were those all meter gauge
> at one time ?  If so, when, approximately, did
> the gauge conversion take place ?
>
> With best regards,
>
> SZ

To further what jmt posted.   The remnants of electrification in my post were always on the wide gauge.  This is the mainline from Santiago to the port of Valparaiso.  Due to mountains, it was the only routing that worked.  The line heads north from Santiago to La Calera where it turns to the west to Valpo.  At San Pedro there is a junction with the line to Con Con and north to Ventanas where the smelter is located.   Between Con Con and Ventanas are located the largest oil refinery in Chile, a number of chemical plants, a huge electric generation plant and an LNG tanker off loading port.   This area also has the highest asthma and cancer rates in Chile, especially among children.  Pollution control efforts are on-going and many people wear masks when outside (before the current virus).



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/02/20 17:01 by masterphots.



Date: 07/02/20 16:02
Re: Fepasa Chile SD40-2 action
Author: Steinzeit2

Thank you both for correcting my misunderstandings and assumptions, and for the additional information.

With best regards, SZ



Date: 07/04/20 12:25
Re: Fepasa Chile SD40-2 action
Author: PasadenaSub

Great group of photos of a colorful and scenic operation.

Rich



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