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Helpers and informants during my visits to South America

Thanks go first to all those people who helped me back in 1975 when I stayed in Puerto Madryn, Gaiman and elsewhere:
Sydney Jones and George Thomas, ex-station-masters at Gaiman and Trelew respectively, were most helpful in recalling details of the railway.
Gerallt Nash and Patricia Davies, students from Wales who were working in Gaiman for a few months, were particularly welcoming to a lone traveller and sent on further information to me later.
The curator of
Gaiman Museum, and librarians in Comodoro Rivadavia and at the Instituto de la Patagonia in Punta Arenas helped look things out for me, and sometimes assisted my limited Spanish.


My visit at the end of 2000, was directed more to historical research:
Thanks go first to staff at the following museums and libraries - for looking out documents and photographs and often allowing me to copy them -
Señor Mario Justo Lopez at the Fundación Museo Ferroviario in Buenos Aires,
Museo Historico Regional 'Fransisco de Viedma' in Carmen de Patagones,
San Antonio Oeste Museum,
Miss Tegai Roberts
at Gaiman Museum,
Gaiman Municipal Library,
Vilma Lopez E.
and her colleagues at the Museo Regional 'Pueblo de Luis' in Trelew,
Trelew Municipal Library,
Museo de la Ciudad
in Rawson,
Museo Nacional del Petroleo
in Comodoro Rivadavia,
Museo Regional Patagónico
in Comodoro Rivadavia,
Comodoro Rivadavia Depto. de Archivo Historico,
Comodoro Rivadavia Municipal Library,
Peninsula Valdes Museum,
Puerto Deseado Library,

The archive staff in
Rio Gallegos Museum,
The mining museum at Río Turbio,
Puerto Natales Museum,

Puerto Natales Library,
Mateo Martinic B.
and his staff at the Instituto de la Patagonia in Punta Arenas,
Porvenir Museum,
Museo del Fin del Mundo in Ushuaia,
Museo Maritimo & library in Ushuaia,
Museo de la Ciudad in Rio Grande,
Ancud Museum,
The library staff of the
Centro Cultural in Castro,
Biblioteca Nacional in Santiago.

Other helpful organisations included -
SEFEPA at San Antonio workshops,
La Trochita, staff at El Maiten and Esquel,
Chubut Province Cadastral Survey dept. in Rawson,
Santa Cruz Province Cadastral Survey dept. in Rio Gallegos,
Amigos del Ferrocarril in Rio Gallegos, for a wonderful Christmas asado,
Rio Turbio Tourist Office, for assistance beyond the call of duty - even hitching with me to the various mines in the valley!
The FCAF in Ushuaia, and particularly to Shaun McMahon, Chris Parrott, Mariana, and Alejandro,
Hotel Argentino in Rio Grande,
Estancia José Menendez, and its manager David Thomson,
El Regimiento d'Ingenieros de la Montaña No. 2, in Puente Alto, Santiago.
The Biblioteca Nacional, Santiago.

Individual helpers who deserve a mention include -
Jorge Garreta and Maria-Ines Mendoza, for being such excellent hosts in Buenos Aires,
Glyn and Monika Jones at Gwesty Tywi (B. & B.) in Gaiman, for their ideas and assistance,
Oscar Domingo Gutierrez in Rio Grande,
Sarah Moor and Mike Child for their car and company when in Chiloe Island.


My most recent visit, during May and June 2011, was also helped tremendously by museum, library and archive staff:
Tansy Newman at the Jane Cameron National Archives, Stanley, Falkland Islands.
Leona Roberts and her staff at Stanley Museum.
Diego Aguirre and his colleagues at la Cueva and the museum, Estacion del Ferrocarril, Puerto Deseado.
Museo Ferroportuario at Comodoro Rivadavia.
Centro de Estudios Historicos y Sociales de Puerto Madryn
The Museo Histórico Regional, Gral. Conesa, Rio Negro.
Archivo General de la Nación Republica Argentina, Av. Leandro N. Alem 246 (1003) Buenos Aires.
Magdalena Biota at the technical library of the Ministerio de Economia, Buenos Aires.
Jorge Waddell at the Fundación Museo Ferroviario, Buenos Aires.
Museo Nacional Ferroviario, Retiro, Buenos Aires.
Alex Vallega and Leticia Badarecco at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina in Buenos Aires.
The Museo Histórico, Ingeniero Jacobacci.
Ricardo Vallmitjana, keeper of the Archivo Histórico Regional, San Carlos de Bariloche.
Ricardo Mendoza at the Museo Fuerte de Niebla, Valdivia, Chile, which holds the Gilberto Provoste collection of photos taken in Chiloé.
Museo Regional de Ancud
Staff of the Fundación Amigos Iglesias de Chiloé,
at the Capilla Inmaculada Concepción de Ancud.

Museo Histórico Nacional, Plaza de Armas, Santiago
The library of the Ministerio de Transportes y Telecomunicaciones, Santiago.
The Biblioteca Nacional, Santiago.
Archivo Nacional Histórico, Miraflores 50, Santiago, Chile.

Again there were many individuals during the trip whose hospitality and assistance was greatly appreciated:
The Revd. Richard Hines for the lift to Goose Green.
Keith Heathman for driving me to various locations in the Falklands
Enterprising taxi drivers in
Cdte. Piedra Buena, Pto San Julian, Pto Deseado, Pto. Pirámides, San Antonío Oeste, Gral. Conesa, Zapala and Ing. Jacobacci for their willingness to go exploring for railway relics out in the camp.
Luis González and Veronica for their wonderful hospitality in Ancud, and for taking me out along the trackbed around Pupelde.
Duncan and Gladys Campbell, in Olmué, Región V.


Within Britain, the following libraries have been particularly helpful:
The National Archives, Kew.
The British Library, St. Pancras.
The British Library Newspaper Library at Colindale in northwest London.
Thelibrary of
The Institute of Latin American Studies in the University of London.
The British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics, which has large collections of old government publications from all over the world.
The library of
Canning House, the home of the Hispanic and Luzo-Brazilian Councils, in Belgrave Square.
The Guildhall Library, of the City of London, which holds London Stock Exchange yearbooks and bound volumes of old company reports.
The Royal Geographical Society in Kensington, which has extensive collections of maps, charts, photographs etc.
The Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, which has an unrivalled collection on Antarctica and the South Atlantic Islands.
Suffolk Record Office in Ipswich for assistance when examining the archives of Messrs Ransomes & Rapier.
The Narrow Gauge Railway Society, and their librarian, Peter Lee.

Additional Latin American resources (not all yet fully searched) include:
The SEGEMAR (Servicio Geológico Minero Argentino) Library in Buenos Aires.

Since setting up these pages, I have received help from the following:

Vilma Lopez Esteban of the Regional Museum in Trelew kindly copied for me a large number of historical documents relating to the FCCC.

Andy Kirkham of Glasgow, wrote (June 1999) with information on the plinthed 2-6-0 at Puerto Madryn and the 0-6-0T at Puerto Natales, and forwarded a number of photos which I have been able to use.

Keith Taylorson, whose article and book are cited below, kindly gave permission for me to quote from his work. He has also sent many rolling stock photographs and information about other lines.

The late Christopher Walker passed on technical details of the early FCCC locos and much other information. One of his books, details below, gives fascinating insights into the operation of South American railways as seen by the postcard publishers' cameras.

Ben Fisher forwarded information about the line at Stanley in the Falkland Islands, with extra detail from Gareth Roberts, Andrew Grantham, Daniel Wilson, Tony Wiese, Keith Taylorson and Mike Davies.

Professor Roderick. A. Smith of Imperial College. London has very kindly given permission for me to use his articles and photographs, about the Camber Railway at Stanley in the Falklands, and on the South Georgia whaling station lines.

Peter Manning in Australia supplied the excellent drawings of the Beyer, Peacock 2-6-0s, and much other useful information about the FCCC locos.

Jorge Garreta Mendoza has kindly e-mailed me with additional details of a variety of minor lines in Argentinian Patagonia, and has provided a great deal of advice and assistance.

The Maritime Museum in Ushuaia have very kindly provided a number of photos of 'the little train to the Susana.' See their website below (in English as well as Spanish). Especial thanks to their director, Carlos Vairo.

Shaun McMahon, engineer of the 'End of the world Line' at Ushuaia has provided much information about the line.

John Kirchner (USA), has written with news of the Henschel 2-8-2 plinthed up north at Villa Maria, having been used in the Chaco near Resistencia. He also first referred me to the US Govt. 1926 report listed below.

Sylvester Damus, an economist of Argentine descent now living in Canada, has provided an immense amount of well-researched detail about the FCCC and the other public railways.

Sergio Zagier, of Zagier & Urruty publishers, has drawn my attention to the sawmill at Puerto Arturo.

Marcelo Benoit, of Uruguay, has forwarded a large scale map of Comodoro Rivadavia and photos of an unidentified forestry line 'in Chubut province'. He has also provided a list of preserved Argentinean steam locos for me to cross-check.

Jim McLaren, of Aberdeen and ex of the Falklands, has forwarded many scans of maps, photos and stamps relating to the railways in the Falklands and South Georgia.

David Guevara, whose gold dredging site is mentioned below, has put a lot of work into finding details and photos of the Estancia Cullen line and other gold dredging sites.

Dave Eggleston (USA) has sent detail about the Esquel line stations and rolling stock.

Sergio Barral has kindly copied examples of FC Patagónico tickets from Trelew, Comodoro Rivadavia and Pto. Deseado, and a vast amount of other useful material such as timetables and rulebooks.

Héctor Oscar Aróstegui (of Monte Chingolo in Buenos Aires Province) has helped a great deal in the translation of pages into Argentine Spanish. He has also provided additional information for which much thanks.

Martin Murray of Bristol has provided full lists of Orenstein & Koppel locos supplied to Chile and the Argentine and a couple of useful photos. He is one of the editors of the published O&K loco list mentioned below.

Harry Charap of Buenos Aires, has corresponded on a number of topics and provided useful information.

Raúl Moroni has written from Chile with details of the Cabo Raper lighthouse railway on the Peninsula de Taitao. He has also given extra detail on the Chiloé Island railway and has forwarded a number of interesting photos.

David Kent, to whom thanks are due for permitting a search of his collection of loco builders' catalogues. An Avonside catalogue in particular, yielded interesting data and drawings.

Allen Morrison of New York, has provided a wonderful set of photos of the Cabo Raper lighthouse railway, and scans of other Chilean material. One of his books, on the history of Chilean tramways, is cited below.

André Philipsz, whose Britlink site on British overseas territories can be accessed below, has forwarded photos of the Camber railway at Stanley taken by Zachary Stephenson.

Guillermo Bohrdt has kindly forwarded pictures of stations on the Puerto Deseado - Las Heras broad gauge line.

James McKee in the USA has provided extra detail about facilities at Esquel line locations.

Arnaud Bongaards of the Decauville Spoorweg Museum in the Netherlands has kindly written with some suggestions about various small internal combustion engine locos illustrated in these pages.

Miguel Fiordelli, whose website of historical photos of Comodoro Rivadavia is cited below, has helped with corrections of our Spanish text and and has kindly permitted use of several photos from his site.

Juan Manuel Garay has written with details of his grandfather's gypsum works in Rio Negro province and with photos of wagons and a train there.

Bernhard Stöckhert of Bochum, Germany, is a geologist who has provided useful details of railways at mining sites in both Chilean and Argentine Patagonia, and some excellent photos of the derelict broad gauge lines..

Richard Morris of Worcester, England, is restoring McLaren road loco no. 1295 (sister to that at the Instituto de la Patagonia), rescued from a field near Rio Turbio. He has kindly supplied details of these machines to supplement our limited knowledge of road steam engines.

Robert Burton, ex Director of the Whaling Museum at Grytviken, has kindly forwarded some interesting photos of the whaling railways.

Señor Ronald Holmes has very kindly sent copies of a number of photos of railway construction in Chiloé, taken when his great grandfather Señor Eleazar Lezaeta was engineer in charge of the construction of the Ancud Castro line.

Tim Cotter of the Falkland Islands Development Corporation has provided details of a few farms where railway related remains can still be found.

Eljas Pölhö of Finland has informed of various dates of operation of whaling stations.

Martyn Bane has kindly permitted me to use information and photos from his recent trips to look at the RFIRT.

The late Señor George Slight has very kindly permitted the continued use of his grandfather's pictures of the Cabo Raper railway, of which he holds the negatives and copyright.

John Nightingale ofVancouver, British Columbia, has written in great detail of the methods used in placer gold mining. This has made much clear and, whilst the mining itself is 'off topic' a little for these pages, our increased understanding of the mining methods has made it easier to recognise the role of any railways used in this industry.

Robert Humm has being doing his own research on the 1922 built Baldwin and Henschel 2-8-2s. He has also provided some useful recent photos of the Bariloche broad-gauge line.

Marcelo Arcas has kindly provided photos of diesel locos and stock on the Bariloche line in 1972.

Mike Swift has provided detailed suggestions about the Manning Wardle 0-4-0Ts supplied to the early coal tramway at Punta Arenas.

Luis Alberto Mancilla has forwarded photos of the Chiloe railway with comments on the details shown in them.

Luis Mardones Ballesteros had collected the photos mentioned immediately above. and has given permission for them to be made available.

Señor Diego de Bunder of Puerto Madryn has very kindly forwarded a number of scans of photopraphs from the copllection of his grandfther who was a station-master on the Bariloche line.

Señor Fernanco Coronato has sent pictures of the pier railway at North Arm, Lafonia, East Falkland.

Señor Pablo Moraga has drawn our attention to the Istmo de Ofqui canal construction railway and has kindly forwarded a series of photos of the works, as well as previously unseen pictures of the Chiloe Island railway.

Señores Ramón Arancibia, Yvo Cerda, Luis Reyes and Señora Priscilla Soto of the Universdad de los Lagos in Puerto Montt have been carrying out research for the production of a film on the Chiloe Railway, under the title of 'Camahueto de Hierro Producciones'. The 'camahueto' was the mythical monster of Chiloe Island whilst a "camahueto de hierro' would thus be the island's mythical monster made of iron - not a bad allusion to the railway's locomotives. In the course of much correspondence they have very kindly forwarded a number of new photos of the railway.

The Chilean Navy has very kindly provided a collection of photos showing the surviving remains of the Cabo Raper lighthouse railway.

Flight Lieutenant H. Griffiths of the RAF, for photos of the jetty and rail track at San Carlos, Falkland Islands.


Richard Campbell for the provision of views and information concerning the RFIRT from the time that he worked on the line and background information on Argentine railways in general.


Marcelo Arcas of Rumbo al Sud for information about the Neuquén line and the FC Sud / Roca in general

Héctor Guerreiro of FC Pago Chico for information about the lines to Neuquén and to Barliloche and background information for the FC Roca, particularly in the Bahía Blanca area.

Malco(lm) Elder for information about early visits by diesel locomotives of the FC Sud to Neuquén.

Carlos Monsalve for information about the province of Neuquén ashfaltite mines.


John Grimshaw, particularly for information about the railways at Rupert's Bay on Saint Helena.


John Neville of California and Richard Lake for identifying the early Mack truck carrying a small industrial steam engine in one of the photos on the site.


Señor Mario Javier Caro Soto of Pupelde, Isla Grande de Chiloé, for sending a photo of a surviving length of rail from the Chiloé railway.




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