The oldest part of the FCPyF is the shelf above the washing machine. In fact this shelf pre-dates the railway by a number of years, it came with the house!
Until this weekend the shelf was an off-stage, non-scenic, section but I have fitted a rock face around the outside of it so the scenery is now continuous between Lago Cumbre and the bridge across the house doorway.
At the Cuarto de Pulgada end of the bridge I have removed the water tank/portal and replaced it with a signalbox to act as punctuation at the end of the upper terminus baseboard.
Both are still work in progress, the rock face needs topping with hanging basket liner and the signalbox needs new roof tiles adding. Jobs for Sunday morning.
Freight trains on the FCPyF generally run overnight in order to keep the line clear for passenger workings by day. Every once in a while an extra is called though.
Freight extra GC6 ran early this morning from Grande to Cuarto de Pulgada, hauled by loco #6 with #10 as a banker as far as Cumbre. The train took the loop at Cuarto and waited until railcar #305 departed for San Fernandez (via Grande) before shunting.
The consist was two loaded gondolas, to be set out Cuarto, and two “less than carload” (LCL) boxcars which were marshalled next to the caboose to enable the conductor to supervise loading and unloading at stations.
The return run, extra CG6, conveyed one boxcar of LCL traffic (again marshalled next to the caboose) plus two empty boxcars and an empty gondola.
Yesterday’s late night departure was hauled by loco #58, tonight’s has #33 in charge.
Porter #5 was seen earlier shunting the yard and making up the train, which was then stabled on the middle road while the evening railcar arrived from San Fernandez on its way to Cuarto de Pulgada.
The railcar departed just before sundown, an hour or so later #33 shunted from the shed to the stage for coaling and watering then coupled to the train and backed it into the station.
The last train of the day waited in the moonlight until it was time to depart for San Fernandez.
Not the last ever train, but certainly the last departure of the day from Grande is the 23.55 mixed. Intending passengers are few and far between but they are catered for, after a fashion, in the caboose which has moderately comfortable seating provided, and the stove is always lit in chilly weather.
I’m guessing no riders turned up tonight because the conductor has turned the caboose’s internal lights off so he can get some shut-eye.
British train enthusiasts refer to the class 66 locos as sheds because of their peaked roofs. FCPyF staff refer to this loco as the shed because it looks like a shed.
The former Ferrocarril San Pedro diesel was seen this afternoon working a railfan excursion train. Well, who else would want to ride in a tatty old coach behind a clapped out diesel? The loco has seen better days, and been patched up where the woodwork was rotted, but it still runs and can earn its keep so long as the train spotters are willing to pay for day trips like this.
The coach still carries its FSP markings, mainly because the FCPyF couldn’t be bothered to repaint it, so this photo could have been taken before the line to San Pedro closed in 1957.
Still work in progress on the shed, it needs the roof re-covering and a headlight adding above the cab door. Then that huge cowcatcher will be painted with alternate black and white bars.
There are some strange locomotives in the world, not least articulated steam locos. OK, so a Fairlie is basically two normal locos glued back to back but American logging locos just look weird
Given that these oddities exist, what’s not to say even weirder machines could have been found? The FCPyF might have opted for a purpose built banking loco for use between Bodjio and Cumbre. Such a loco would need to have the power of two engines but need only to operate at slow to medium speeds.
This monstrosity combines the firebox/boiler/smokeboxes of a Fairlie (A) and power bogies that resemble a Garratt (B) with the V shaped cylinder blocks of a Heisler (C) turning the wheels via drive shafts and gears. The uphill end power bogie (B1) carries a rectangular water tank while the downhill end (B2) carries a cylindrical fuel tank, coal firing would not really be a viable option unless a large bunker was mounted on the boiler unit.
Will it get built? I don’t know. The banking locos currently in use (14 and 18) are perfectly well up to the job but I’ve always had a soft spot for oddball locos and it would certainly be unique.