Ferrocarril Central Andino

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Ferrocarril Central Andino

Postby Benny » Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:04 pm

The Ferrocarril Central Andino (FCCA) is a west-east railroad of Peru and connects the port of Callao, the most important of the nation, with Huancayo crossing Lima and passing the 4700 m asl on the route. On its going between the Constitutional Province of Callao and the northern districts of Lima the line crosses populated and frequently heavily run down areas at a speed of 15-20 mph because of the thousands of road crossings, also with the main arteries, without barriers or lightning signs and the multitude of "bidonvilles" grown on the sides of the track. There is only freight service (apart from a tourist service approx. 15 times a year) and trains are made depending the needs without timetables; normally there are 2 to 4 train pairs a day. The entire line is controlled from a central room in Chosica and there aren't signals, all indications are given by radio. Principal goods transported are products related with the mining and refining industries. Rolling stock is of north-american type and locos normally used are nearly all second hand.

I live in Lima so what I can show you is the first part of the line, from Callao to San Bartolome, because it's the nearest one (only to arrive to S. Bartolome I need a 2h driving for 45 miles) but when I will go over on the mountains and to the really spectacular part of the route will report it. For the time being I hope you can enjoy some pictures taken in places where tourists normally don't go. Photos are not my best ones, they are taken with a compact camera because I'm one of the last lovers of classic black and white films but here I cannot find chemicals for developping and, more important, a small camera is easier to hide in hot places.

In previous times the line reached the piers of the Callao harbour but now starts from a cramped terminal in Avenida Atalaya that is used only by tank wagons. On the side of this area there were a loco depot and the works that now are displaced in Chosica, 33 miles east. In this shot is showed the simple end of one of the most interesting lines of the world. Until two months ago the old track on the side of the wall to the harbour was still in situ.
D76r Ingresso terminal cisterne.jpg

The real start of the line is approx. half a mile back, always in Avenida Atalaya, inside the so called "patio central", that is the minerals terminal connected with the ships by a very long transporting belt; the site is used also as a small marshalling yard and a stabling point for the locos waiting to return back. On the right of the image there is the entrance to the patio central and on the left is the track that follows until the tankers terminal.
D77r Ingresso patio central.jpg

These two images were taken on early Sunday morning; taking photos between the two terminals in other times is very difficult because of the trucks queuing on the side road before entering into the port area.
In the following image you can see a mixed freight hauled by C39-8 1012 (the one that was modified for gas use) starting its journey at the crossing with Av. Gambetta, just outside the Patio Central siding. Note the heavy road traffic. The train driving style is "I will cross and if you don't stop you will be the damaged one".
D74r 1012 con merci in transito al PL di av.jpg

It follow on.

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Re: Ferrocarril Central Andino

Postby philipmartin » Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:02 pm

It fascinates me because a member of our family worked for W.R. Grace, the old steamship company between Latin America and North America. I think it got it's start in the port of Callao, transporting guano, (fertilizer.)
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Re: Ferrocarril Central Andino

Postby Benny » Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:43 pm

Guano, marine birds excrements used as excellent fertilizer, was the money used to pay railroads building in the second half of xix century. A Peruvian politic, Manuel Pardo y Lavalle, put in his program the transforming of guano in railways to impulse the nation developing. History complicated very much this idea but this gives the importance of guano in economy of the rising Peru.

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Re: Ferrocarril Central Andino

Postby Benny » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:06 am

SECOND CHAPTER
The same crossing is engaged each time that a switching movement to/from the tankers terminal or a siding is made with more than 3 or 4 cars. Here is showed loco 801 sandwiched between two rakes during a complicated shunting. This strange loco is normally used as a switcher in the terminals area and has a long history: it was built as EMD GR12 in 1966 for the Cerro de Pasco, mining company that owned the railroad between the homonymous town and La Oroya; the line was then nationalized, re-privatized as Centromin and finally given to FCCA and the loco followed all these passages. During this long time it had the cab changed and the small radiators displaced (I don't know when nor why) but I think it has been a homemade work, although it seems one of the MP32 of SUN.
D72r 801 in manovra intercalata all´incrocio con av.jpg

The various "favelas" along the urban stretch are well exemplified in this photo of a mineral hoppers train hauled by SD40-2 1023 in Av. Meiggs. These locos are limited to the Callao-Matucana section because of their profile, too much high and wide for the line tunnels.
D3r 1023 con merci davanti alla baraccopoli tra jr Villegas e av. Gambetta (Callao) R.jpg

In the huts near the rails live various "recyclers" that, after a selection, throw the remaining waste everywhere, as can be appreciated watching the track and the man on the left (loco is 1014).
D34r Loco 1014 isolata in corsa in Ramon Castilla (Callao).jpg

(Ok, I don't why this image is not right)
Well, for today it's all; I will follow on in the next days.

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Re: Ferrocarril Central Andino

Postby NorthWest » Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:00 pm

That GR12 is interesting, I wonder if the cab was replaced for better visibility when switching. The grids that are at an angle are actually dynamic brake grids, where air is pulled through to cool the dynamic brake resistors. Dynamic braking uses the traction motors as generators, and resistors turn the energy into heat. A fan is located on the roof.

That SD40-2 is interesting, the paint makes it look like it is a former CEFX unit. It appears to ride on conventional flexicoil trucks and not the HTC trucks of other SD40-2s. Only Conrail ordered SD40-2s with these trucks, but not with the headlight in the nose. Interesting.

Thanks for sharing!
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Re: Ferrocarril Central Andino

Postby Benny » Tue Aug 18, 2015 6:27 pm

NorthWest wrote:That GR12 is interesting, I wonder if the cab was replaced for better visibility when switching. The grids that are at an angle are actually dynamic brake grids, where air is pulled through to cool the dynamic brake resistors. Dynamic braking uses the traction motors as generators, and resistors turn the energy into heat. A fan is located on the roof.

That SD40-2 is interesting, the paint makes it look like it is a former CEFX unit. It appears to ride on conventional flexicoil trucks and not the HTC trucks of other SD40-2s. Only Conrail ordered SD40-2s with these trucks, but not with the headlight in the nose. Interesting.

Thanks for sharing!


I think that the new cab was not fitted for shunting better visibility because in this case there was not the need of aerodynamic shape, but this is only a my idea.
I know dynamic braking but always I've seen them in electric locos, generally with resistors on the roof cooled by open air, and sometimes with the generated current sent to the overhead wires (regenerative brakes). A swiss engineer told me that three freight trains descending the Gotthard line produce enough energy to feed an ascending one.

About the SD40-2 I read somewhere that the two units (the other is 1024) came from KCS; the other one is grey with yellow stripes. 1023 has a sticker on the side that tells "overhauled by Althom" so in that occasion trucks could have been swapped with another unit. What I don't knew is frenchs presence in America.
Hope these few notes can help.

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Re: Ferrocarril Central Andino

Postby NorthWest » Tue Aug 18, 2015 6:59 pm

Alstom operated the former Montreal Locomotive Works plant as an overhaul and new construction shop for awhile after Bombardier was done with it, so that was probably where it was done. Canadian SD40-2 production had the headlights in the short hood to avoid glare problems in the winter, but they had the bell located between the front number boards. That unit appears to have it under the frame like United States built units. All sorts of interesting things with this one! :-D
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Re: Ferrocarril Central Andino

Postby Benny » Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:52 pm

THIRD CHAPTER
After displacement of the works from Callao to Chosica locos cannot be turned at the western terminal so generally eastbound trains run with the loco long bonnet forward at least until Monserrate station for the pleasure of the driver, especially in road crossings.
In this shot there is a mixed freight hauled by C39-8 1014 running in Dulanto area, still in Callao.
D36r Loco 1014+merci in corsa tra pje El Sol e av.jpg

About crossings, someone is really problematic like this one. Av. Faucett is the main road to the airport and the north-western suburbs and is always congested, not helped by a bad road condition. Here is draisine 311 with a small trailer. The four legs guard seems to be a team member because I've seen him other times enjoying the travel.
D25r Draisina 311 all´attraversamento dell´av.jpg

In the same place loco 1014 is crossing with a train of sulphuric acid tankers coming from Cajamarquilla refinery. You can imagine what can happens in case of accident; sometimes police blocks traffic but not always.
D35r Loco 1014 +treno di cisterne attraversando av.jpg

In these photos, like other ones, you can see the typical Lima winter climate: a mix of humidity, pollution and dust that form a mist and makes that images appear like overexposed ones.
It will follow...

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Re: Ferrocarril Central Andino

Postby philipmartin » Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:58 pm

Reading your coment about the sulfuric acid tankers, I was thinking about them in a crash, even before you mentioned it. Winter in Lima; my mother was born there, (granney was travelling,) but she was in los Estados Unidos before she was a year old. I wonder if she remembered the weather there?
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Re: Ferrocarril Central Andino

Postby Benny » Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:34 pm

FOURTH CHAPTER
The only protection in crossings is this road sign, generally ignored by car drivers. It's incredible the low number of accidents that happen knowing the peruvian driving style.
D22r Segnale di passaggio a livello.jpg

But road crossings are not the only points where trains risk to have a brutal meeting with other vehicles. In the Carmen de la Legua district there is this open area, theoretically a series of basket fields for youngsters, that is used also as a parking, for car repairing and to sell street food; two buses were having a pause and the drivers, to avoid going down to chat, parked side by side and only at the last moment, when the loco whistle was exploding, the one with the wheels on the ballast decided to move.
D26r Bus che si sposta per far passare il treno.jpg

Note that train was the sulphuric acid one, at the back of 1014, as you can see.
D27r loco 1014 e treno di cisterne in corsa in jr 28 Julio a Carmen de la Legua.jpg

It will follow...

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Re: Ferrocarril Central Andino

Postby Benny » Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:56 am

At the eastern border of Lima there is Santa Clara junction, from where starts the long siding to the Cajamarquilla refinery, and the railroad follows through Chaclacayo town until Chosica. this is probably the most important site of the line, seat of the control room and the depot-works and where always there is some interesting item, but the area is strictly off-limits so the only places to take shots are the pedestrians bridge that crosses all the station and a road that goes uphill on the opposite side of the station building. With the classic railfan "luck" the most interesting pieces are always in an impossible-to-photograph position but I selected three images of very low quality but of sure interest.
The first one shows an unidentified Lynette Diesel Multiple Unit. These lightweight units were bought from Danish railways for a project named Metro Wanka, a urban and suburban service to put on duty in Huancayo. As this has not yet started because of the strong bus drivers opposition the railcars were used some months ago to build up an emergency passenger service between Chosica and Lima when a huaico, an enormous landslide of mud, rock and water, destroyed the Carretera Central road (and killed lots of people) leaving the rails as sole connection between the peaks and the capital.
I know, there are cables in the foreground, but this was the only way to shot the unit.
D40r Lynette non identificata in sosta alle officine di Chosica.jpg

The second is an image of the only ALCO loco I ever seen in my railroad roundabouts of the last times. I've seen photos of other ones in recent years but if they are still in service, are in other places.
The loco is 412, a DL535 model, and seems in not so bad state but I don't know if it's still serviceable. Another time this is the best shot possible
D44r Loco 412 accantonata a Chosica.jpg

The last one is a sad image of 705, an EMD JT26CW, being dismantled in a side track of the station. Another member of this class is plinthed in a little park of Lima.
D42r Loco 705 in fase di smantellamento a Chosica.jpg

To be continued...

Ciao :wink:
Last edited by Benny on Sun Aug 23, 2015 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ferrocarril Central Andino

Postby David Benton » Sun Aug 23, 2015 4:19 am

Thanks for the interesting reports , Benny.
I rode the passenger train up into the mountains in the early 1990s. We left from Lima, but i cannot remember the name of the town that we traveled too. I am certain it was not Huncayo, tourists were not allowed on the train that far, because it was the haunting ground of the Maoist guerllias. (shining path???). Looking on the map, La Oroyo rings a bell, but i do not remember crossing the river to the town , and it was a market town.
I will try to find my diaries form the time, although unfortunately my backpack and camera were stolen shortly afterwards in Juliaca, on the way to Cusco .
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Re: Ferrocarril Central Andino

Postby Benny » Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:24 pm

David Benton wrote: I rode the passenger train up into the mountains in the early 1990s. We left from Lima, but i cannot remember the name of the town that we traveled too. I am certain it was not Huncayo, tourists were not allowed on the train that far, because it was the haunting ground of the Maoist guerllias. (shining path???). Looking on the map, La Oroyo rings a bell, but i do not remember crossing the river to the town , and it was a market town.


If you remember transit in the summit tunnel surely the place was La Oroya, otherwise it can be Ticlio or Casapalca but every small-medium sized village has a market.
Still today locals are frightened with the guerrilleros atrocities.

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Re: Ferrocarril Central Andino

Postby philipmartin » Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:23 pm

It sure is nice hearing aboutn Peru. It's too bad that you still have the Maoist criminals to terrorize the populice.
I'm sorry to hear that you lost so much, David. All I lost was a collection of coins that accumulated in my pockets; Drachmas, escudos, lire and pound shilling and bounce, (I was there before the UK went on the decimal system.) I left my belongings in a yout hostel, probably in Italy, whil I went sight seeing, for the day.
Here's a link to the Wiki article on the Shining Path. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shining_Path
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Re: Ferrocarril Central Andino

Postby Benny » Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:51 pm

philipmartin wrote: It's too bad that you still have the Maoist criminals to terrorize the populice.


Surely I badly expressed myself. Peruvians are still frightened REMEMBERING the atrocities of terrorists after nearly 20 years from the end of guerrilla.
I beg your pardon.

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