Like most Andean railways the FCPyF relies heavily on mineral traffic for its revenue. This said, mineral trains are seldom photographed on the line. Perhaps this is because they run mainly at night and also because they lack the interest of passenger and mixed freight trains. Anyway, one was seen in daylight this afternoon, switching the siding at Rio Paleta.
The train came to a stand in the station and the brakes were applied to the gondola and caboose at the rear of the train.
Once this was done #60 drew forward with four empty hopper cars still attached.
These were used as a handle so that the heavy locomotive did not have to enter the siding.
With the loaded hopper from the mine attached the train was shunted to pick up the inbound gondola…
… Which was spotted underneath the tipple.
The train drew forward again before setting back to collect the caboose. A brake test was completed successfully and #60 departed for Cumbre, where the four empties would be loaded on the siding before the train returned to Centrales.
A very simple shunt, picking up a load and setting out an empty, but it all adds interest to operating the railway. Not least because the manoeuvre was carried out at the top of the steep gradient down from Rio to Centrales so when I say the brakes were applied to the gondola and caboose I really mean it.