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International Railroad Discussion > Alco hunting in Chile


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Date: 11/20/20 10:03
Alco hunting in Chile
Author: masterphots

Fepasa has ten Alco RSD20s (built 1961) which mostly are in timber train service between Horcones (town of Arauco) and the Concepcion port area.  This is in southern Chile,  about 250 miles south of Santiago.  The units have been upgraded over the years and now are receiving chop noses as they receive major overhauls.  Here are a few photos from February 10-11, 2020.  I'd planned to return in March but the pandemic arrived so that was that.  This was my first time on the line and I learned a lot for future trips.  The line is incredibly scenic as it is right on the coast and there are 12 tunnels over just a few miles.  Much of it is inaccesible other than hiking into a spot.  Here's hoping summer 2021 will be free of quarantine and I can give it a go.

1-2.   My first day (Feb 10) the train caught me by surprise at Playa Colcura but I did get a couple of photos.  Alco 1802 on the point.  I walked about 50 feet from where I took the first shot to the second.

3.     On Feb 11, I got down to Horcones early to catch 1802 leaving after a crew change (yard to road crew)  just north of the yard.  This one I could chase.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 11/24/20 03:26 by masterphots.








Date: 11/20/20 10:06
Re: Alco hunting in Chile
Author: masterphots

4-5.  Arriving Laraquete.  1802 doing the honors again.

6.   At Playa Colcura,  this time I had time to get closer to the line (and wet as the tide was coming in)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/20 11:38 by masterphots.








Date: 11/20/20 10:10
Re: Alco hunting in Chile
Author: masterphots

7.   While waiting for photo No. 8,  I was watching the world go by on the road and......

8.   At Coronel,  where the train will go to the nearby port from where the sheets of celulosa will be exported to Asia

9.   Back at Coronel yard, former Korean Rys EMD G8 is the yard switcher.  They still build fishing boats on the shore.  The town in the background is Lota,  where there used to be coal mining beneath the ocean floor.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 11/24/20 03:29 by masterphots.








Date: 11/20/20 11:27
Re: Alco hunting in Chile
Author: PHall

What's the story about the "idler" car between the units?



Date: 11/20/20 11:40
Re: Alco hunting in Chile
Author: masterphots

Needed to spread the weight of the two units on bridges.  MU cables also pass through these cars.  Everything from old boxcars to cabooses are used for this purpose.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/20 11:42 by masterphots.



Date: 11/20/20 11:51
Re: Alco hunting in Chile
Author: erielackawanna

Love these... Doug and I spent a day in Lota without seeing a train... but I'd try it again for sure.



Date: 11/20/20 12:19
Re: Alco hunting in Chile
Author: tomstp

Where are the doors to those boxcars?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/20 16:12 by tomstp.



Date: 11/20/20 13:57
Re: Alco hunting in Chile
Author: masterphots

tomstp Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Where are the dorrs to those boxcars?

Green tarps to protect the wood and deter theft.  The cars are sort of covered flat cars so to speak.



Date: 11/20/20 23:20
Re: Alco hunting in Chile
Author: WP17

Interesting to see a part of Chile that looks very different from what people typically think of Chile. 

Of course when you are in the Atacama, you don't necessarily think of the Amalia Glacier at the far other end of the country:-)

WP17



Date: 11/21/20 02:45
Re: Alco hunting in Chile
Author: masterphots

Ranging over about 2,500 miles of latitude,  Chile has everything including the driest desert in the world,  55 active volcanos, a central valley which is agriculturally rich,  the lake district, forests, fiords/ glaciers and in the far south a slice of Antarctica.  Then there's Easter Island,  2,500 miles west of the mainland in the Pacific Ocean,  which is part of the Region/City of Valparaiso.  The eastern border Andes mountains have a number of peaks around 20,000 feet,  including the highest mountain outside Asia,  Mt.Aconcagua at 22,837 feet.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/21/20 15:22 by masterphots.



Date: 11/21/20 05:28
Re: Alco hunting in Chile
Author: train1275

Nice Series.



Date: 11/21/20 06:21
Re: Alco hunting in Chile
Author: mamfahr

> > Where are the dorrs to those boxcars?
>
> Green tarps to protect the wood and deter theft. 
> The cars are sort of covered flat cars so to speak.

Thanks for posting the photos and providing the explanations.  I have to ask about the contents of the cars.  Things may have changed, but  when I was there in the late 1990s northbound cars on that branch contained stacked sheets of "cellulosa".  That was a wood-fiber product that was an intermediate step in the paper-making process.  It moved to the port and most ended up in Asia.  The "tarps" on the sides of the cars protected the cellulose from the elements but didn't do much against theft.  We had frequent theft / vandalism events in those days.  We investigated and found that, in many cases, local residents were cutting the tarps off of the sides of the cars - not to steal cellulose - but to use the tarps to make "tent houses".  There was a lot of poverty in that area and the tarps made great water / wind-proof home improvement items that they could obtain at no cost...

Take care,

Mark   



Date: 11/21/20 06:48
Re: Alco hunting in Chile
Author: masterphots

Same contents.  The theft issues have gone away for the most part, mostly because of government-built proper housing which people can buy with very low interest rates along with subsidies.  And down there, export business is booming so the pandemic hasn't appreciably increased unemployment.



Date: 11/21/20 07:49
Re: Alco hunting in Chile
Author: dash944cw

Did the engines ever belch the famous "Alco smoke" when they throttled up?



Date: 11/21/20 08:37
Re: Alco hunting in Chile
Author: masterphots

Still do



Date: 11/21/20 12:14
Re: Alco hunting in Chile
Author: 86235

Lovely set Alan, a part of Chile I've not really explored.



Date: 11/21/20 14:18
Re: Alco hunting in Chile
Author: retcsxcfm

First photo.No,Alan you went to the beach to see
women and happened to see a train.

Uncle Joe



Date: 11/21/20 15:51
Re: Alco hunting in Chile
Author: MEKoch

That pic of the trucks, trains and a mule pulling a cart load of lumber.  Reminds me of Egypt.



Date: 11/21/20 17:05
Re: Alco hunting in Chile
Author: masterphots

MEKoch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That pic of the trucks, trains and a mule pulling
> a cart load of lumber.  Reminds me of Egypt.

Still animal drawn carts in Chile and Argentina,  mostly in rural areas,  but in Santiago we still see the occasional old guy picking up recyclables with his carito.  At least now they enforce laws forbidding animal or human (bicycles) drawn transport on the motorways.  20 years ago one never knew what you might encounter at 70mph.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/22/20 13:50 by masterphots.



Date: 11/21/20 18:38
Re: Alco hunting in Chile
Author: SD45X

Sweet!!



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