The Billard railcar is almost finished. I have fitted the glazing though I’m not 100% satisfied with the curved end windows. The clear plastic is attached using gaffer tape, because I did not want to risk melting the glazing bars with glue, so it’ll be fairly easy to remove it if I decide to try again. The railcar still needed its numbers when the photos of it at Grande were taken early this morning. It is just a tad too wide for the platforms at San Fernandez so No.22 will be transferred from the Cuarto Mail to operate the San Fernandez to Grande route. A major advantage of using railcars on the mail trains is that they can be stabled overnight at Cuarto and San Fernandez instead of both being based at Grande. This greatly reduces the congestion at the southern terminus as the mail trains can have a much quicker turnaround before heading back home.
With both main line expresses operated by railcars the dieselisation of the FCPyF’s regular passenger trains will be almost complete. Stopping trains and branch line services have been railcar operated for some time but the Antequera Mail remains steam hauled, as are the heavy mineral trains. Tourist and heritage excursions are almost exclusively steam of course, not for operational reasons but because that’s what tourists expect.
The FCPyF route map is for reference in connection with the railcar allocations.
As mentioned previously, No.64 will operate as the mail train on the Cuarto to Grande line when it enters service and No.22 will be used on the San Fernandez Mail.
No.80 will operate the stopping train on the Grande to Cuarto line with No.31 providing a similar service on the route between Grande and San Fernandez.
Nos.87 and 89, in the carriage shed, are a spare set based at Grande. Having spare railcars available should obviate the use of loco hauled stand-ins when needed. No.4 is also kept at Grande as a spare.
No.37 is stabled at Cuarto as a spare and No.20 handles LCL freight on the Cuarto line.
No.305 works a round trip from Derrotado, via Perejil, through to Grande, a duty it shares with No.310, seen stabled in the yard at Cruce Muelle.
The motley collection of railbuses and freight motors shown is used on the Ferronor lines between San Fernandez and Frontera, Puerto Tablon, Derrotado and Antequera. The sets are not generally found on the main lines south of San Fernandez because they’re underpowered for the gradients involved on the lines to Grande and Cuarto.
They’re seen at Veinte Veinte today because San Fernandez Norte is closed for engineering work at present. That may, or may not, be a hint of things to come. I have got a spare baseboard, and an itch to build an urban terminus, about the same size as the original San Fernandez Terminal but in a very run down condition, representing a main line station now reduced to a shadow of its former self and just handling local passenger trains. Something like Broad Street in the 1970s.
The photo above reminds me, No.21 has not been used for a while. The Galloping Goose is kept with a number of the FCPyF’s older railbuses, still available but safely stored in boxes at present. One presumes they are used on suburban services out of San Fernandez Norte and that’s why they’re not seen very often on the lines south of Veinte Veinte.
Unusually for an On30 railway the FCPyF also runs two OO9 railcars. 301 is the green AEC car and 306 is the red liveried Leyland. Any similarities between the two, such as the doors, windows and underframes, can easily be explained because AEC was absorbed by Leyland in the 1960s. These railcars are used on the branches to Esquina de Ganado and Quécarajo which do not appear on the route map, probably because upper management is unaware of their presence.
Ignorance is bliss, and the FCPyF’s managers do have a very blissful existence.