Two short reports from 1912
A report from Engineer Petersen on the location of proposed stations
Puerto Deseado 8 January 1912 [†]
[†] There is clearly as problem with dates – Ing. Petersen cannot be reporting in January 1912 on a matter which he was instructed to deal with only in October 1912. It is clear from the Memoria for the year 1912 that the decision about the reduction in the number of stations had already been made before the end of that year, and that thus the date of the report (1912) is more likely to be correct, than the dates quoted in the body of the letter.
Location of Stations
In accordance with the instructions in your folder 14/1116, dated 2 October 1912, I have made a round trip in Colonia Las Heras and its environs; that is to say from Km. 230 to Km. 330; the results of which follow.
The estancias of Colonia Las Heras are relatively big. I can mention the estancia La Oriental in Las Heras which extends to 60 leagues [540 square miles]; other estancias vary between 6 or 8 and 16 leagues [54 or 72 and 108 square miles]. They carry between 800 and 1200 sheep per league. The sole produce of the estancias is sheep, and it is unlikely that the land and the climate will allow agriculture in the future. Taking all this in to account, my opinion is that one station per 25 kilometres would be enough between Km. 250 and Km. 327. That is to say, one of the stations intended at Km. 266 or Km. 281 may be omitted. As an aside, it may be mentioned that the stations at K. 250 and Km. 266, are both within the estancia of the family Rodriguez who have 8 leagues of land.
There would be no detriment to the existing tracks were a station to be omitted. Moreover, the tracks are of little importance as the ground is hard, and a track is formed anywhere by the passage of 10 or 12 carts.
Almost all the land in Colonia Las Heras is occupied. Holdings, which will be established in the future, will be outside the colony, and thus further from the line, so making it of little consequence if the stations are sited at 20 or 25 km. from each other.
According to your instructions of December 1912, I have made a trial well at Km. 281 station to look for water. Sweet water was found 4.5 m. down. The well is 2.0 m. diameter, and produces 16,000 litres of water in 24 hours. At Km. 265 station no trial has been undertaken to find water as this station is so close to the one at Km. 250. It would be better to make a trial well at Km. 275 or thereabouts; always assuming that the land there is suitable for a station at that location. If a station is located at Km. 275, then the two stations intended for Km. 266 and Km. 281 may be eliminated.
I should say that, when the railway reaches Km. 320 and beyond, both the passenger and wool traffic will be greatly increased, because assuredly all the wool from the Cordillera will come to Deseado, always provided that the charges are not too high. Currently the estancias send their produce, at great expense, to Caleta Olivia and Comodoro Rivadavia. If the charges are too high, the goods will be sent to ports nearer than Deseado, such as Caleta Olivia, which is only 12 leagues [36 miles] from Km. 202 station.
E Stoltz Petersen
Instructions to the Jefe de Talleres on the construction of the accountant's house
Puerto Deseado to Lago Nahuel Huapí Railway
Deseado 22 April 1910
Head of Workshops
I remit to you a plan for the construction of a house for use by an employee with a family, along with the calculations and descriptive statement.
Workers of the Workshops will undertake its construction on a lump sum basis and to the amount shown in the formula which I send you to that effect.
The house should be completed within 15 days of the acceptance of the most appropriate offer. The tenderer whose offer is accepted, if completed satisfactorily, will build another house of the same type.
The location will be next to the one built for Señor Mazzuchelli and is intended for use by the Accountant.
Juan A Briano
The FCE broad gauge network