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International Railroad Discussion > FCAB Chile mountain action


Date: 03/30/21 12:38
FCAB Chile mountain action
Author: masterphots

As I mentioned in an earlier FCAB post,  the line from Calama at about 10,000 feet begins descending to the west through the Atacama Desert on its way to the ports at Antofagasta and Mejillones on the Pacific Ocean.  The line to Mejillones must cross the coastal mountains and traverses many curves and grades as it makes its way.   Here are some images at and around the summit of the line at Cumbre.  Most trains have helpers,  especially on the west side of Cumbre.

1-5.   Here are views of 2404 westbound as it descends the double horseshoe curves a couple of miles west of Cumbre.  Helpers consist of Clyde G22C (former West Australia Government Rys AA1518)+ NF210 1426 (former CNR 946).  The 2404 is one of seven FCAB-built GT22CU-3, using parts from Columbia Ry  GR12s and rebuilt EMD turbo 645E3.  The train is hauling manganese concentrate from the San Cristobol mine in Bolivia, which will be exported to Japan from the port at Mejillones.   This train reliably arrives at Cumbre between 9 am and noon daily. Uhh, see the caption for photo 7 below for an exception.   The five photos were taken from the same vantage point.  A great show watching the train going around the loops as it heads downhill, and a very nice way to begin a day's shooting.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/30/21 15:58 by masterphots.








Date: 03/30/21 12:41
Re: FCAB Chile mountain action
Author: masterphots

4-5.   Info above.

6.  Same operation starting down from Cumbre on 4/6/17.   2004 is former Queensland Govt Rys GL26C 2106D.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/30/21 15:59 by masterphots.








Date: 03/30/21 12:51
Re: FCAB Chile mountain action
Author: masterphots

7.  2008, former Queensland 2113D,  (turbocharged, hence the hump on top) westbound with another train from Bolivia.  The gray tubs hold lead concentrate.  8/23/18   Great back story here.  This was the first train we'd seen with three units in the new colors.  We knew it was on this train but for once it was late and we had a flight back to Santiago that afternoon.   We hung in there watching the clock and it finally showed up, about two hours later than normal.   We made the flight.

8-9.   2403W leaving Cumbre and heading towards the loops,  about 2 miles away.  7/27/12



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/30/21 16:01 by masterphots.








Date: 03/30/21 12:58
Re: FCAB Chile mountain action
Author: masterphots

10.  EMD GR12 1411W approaches Cumbre after climbing out of the Atacama Desert.   4/15/16    This was one of a few units in 'heritage' orange paint.

11.  EMD GR12 1404 eastbound working uphill a couple of miles below the loops near Cumbre.  3/5/11  The will shortly turn sharply to the right and after a short straight will enter the loops (see photo 5 above for a train leaving the loops).

12.  EMD GR12 1403 helper set at dawn pushing the eastbound Bolivian empties upgrade towards Cumbre.  This was a rare daytime eastbound move,  probably due to some problem at the port.  4/16/16



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 04/11/21 10:27 by masterphots.








Date: 03/30/21 13:39
Re: FCAB Chile mountain action
Author: exhaustED

Truly spectacular shots!



Date: 03/30/21 16:39
Re: FCAB Chile mountain action
Author: SvenMolson

AM...Fantastisk series!

Sven



Date: 03/30/21 17:57
Re: FCAB Chile mountain action
Author: zorz

Great pics!



Date: 03/30/21 18:02
Re: FCAB Chile mountain action
Author: pedrop

Great sceneries. Is the any kind of vegetation in that area?

Pedro Rezende
Vespasiano, MG
https://youtube.com/c/minasgeraisrailways1



Date: 03/30/21 22:41
Re: FCAB Chile mountain action
Author: Ritzville

Very cool shots!!

Larry



Date: 03/31/21 04:29
Re: FCAB Chile mountain action
Author: masterphots

pedrop Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Great sceneries. Is the any kind of vegetation in
> that area?

Nothing unless somebody planted a tree by a building



Date: 03/31/21 06:31
Re: FCAB Chile mountain action
Author: tomstp

Doesn't look like it ever rains up there.  Gotta wonder what a tree would use for water.



Date: 03/31/21 09:20
Re: FCAB Chile mountain action
Author: masterphots

tomstp Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Doesn't look like it ever rains up there.  Gotta
> wonder what a tree would use for water.

There are parts of the Atacama that have never recorded rain in 150 years of record keeping.  That said,  climate change has recently brought rain to parts of the desert.  Resulting flash floods in 2015 destroyed two railroads,  SQM's electric line and Ferronor's Portreillos line,  both of which were never rebuilt and ended rail haul for the two industries they served.



Date: 03/31/21 09:31
Re: FCAB Chile mountain action
Author: exhaustED

tomstp Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Doesn't look like it ever rains up there.  Gotta
> wonder what a tree would use for water.

Some organisms in such regions survive by harvesting dew from overnight mists... no trees can manage to live that way though.



Date: 03/31/21 11:13
Re: FCAB Chile mountain action
Author: mile250

Terrain like Mars.



Date: 03/31/21 13:50
Re: FCAB Chile mountain action
Author: masterphots

NASA has a facility east of Calama where they've tested Mars rovers and other such hardware.



Date: 04/01/21 14:23
Re: FCAB Chile mountain action
Author: 86235

Wonderful set Alan.



Date: 04/03/21 13:01
Re: FCAB Chile mountain action
Author: E25

I am out of superlatives.  Great selection, Alan.

Greg Stadter
Phoenix, AZ



Date: 04/03/21 13:47
Re: FCAB Chile mountain action
Author: erielackawanna

Love all the shots... kind of even more as I knew where they were all taken!!!! :-)
 



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