Some strange goings on can often be seen when there are no timetabled trains due. There was what appeared to be a hazardous load on the FCPyF earlier this afternoon.
The special train was conveying barrier wagons between the locos, 10 and 18, and a flatcar which appeared to be carrying a load covered by a tarpaulin. Nothing strange there, hazardous chemicals are a daily routine on many railways and the Andes have several areas where some rather noxious substances are dug out of the ground. What was strange was that the train ran northbound to Rio Paleta, where it stopped and reversed back down the hill to Jones River. It then repeated this round trip a couple of times before stopping at Resurrección and propelling the loaded wagon into the siding.
The locos then departed, with the barrier wagons, leaving the loaded wagon stood there… Smelling.
Think yourselves lucky there’s no way of conveying smells to you through this blog. Closer examination revealed that the rails were a lot cleaner than they were yesterday, and they too had a faint whiff of meths to them.
Removing the tarpaulin covered load reveals the true story.
Readers of a certain age may recognise the zamac block in the middle of the flatcar as being the innards of an old Tri-ang track cleaning wagon, like this one on Charlie’s layout.
Which explains the smell of methylated spirits.
Note also that the wagon still has its original tension lock couplings.
Hence the use of barrier wagons between it and the locos.