Cuzco narrow gauge

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Randy Hees
Joined:Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:07 pm
Cuzco narrow gauge

Post by Randy Hees » Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:46 am

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Two Perurail locomotives at Agua Caliente
I have been organizing photos from a trip to Cuzco and Machu Picchu, including a trip on the 3’ gauge line between the two cities.

The line was built as the Ferrocarril Santa Ana, alternately Ferrocarril Cuzco á Santa Ana, built and operated as part of the Ferrocarril del Sur, (FCdS) now operated as part of PeruRail. The line provides the only access to Machu Picchu (beyond hiking).
The FCdS primarly operates a standard gauge rail from the Pacific at Matarani, to Arequipa and over the Andes to Juliaca where the line splits with one line going to Puno (Lake Titicaca) the other to Cuzco. Freight service on the standard gauge line is dominated by traffic associated with the Cerro Verde copper mine near Juliaca.

On the narrow gauge line, Peru Rail uses a variety of DMU and locomotive hauled trains. The locomotives are as far as I can tell, all Alco or Alco Montreal products, seemingly all variations on their DL-535 model. They also use DL-535 locomotives on the standard gauge lines, and based on photos, at least a couple of the locomotives have operated on both gauges. Some of the locomotives may have been purchased used from Argentina. Recently they ordered new 4 new locomotives from Sygnet Locomotive of Tacoma Washington (formerly Global Locomotive). This was the company that rebuilt/repowered the White Pass shovel nose locomotives… Sygnett went out of business before the locomotives were delivered.

Additionally since my visit, there is a second operator on the line, Inca Rail, offering service as well. Inca Rail seems to use DMU’s (at least some built and used in Yugoslavia, sold and rebuilt for use in Portugal, (meter gauge) then sold and rebuilt (and regauged) to Inca Rail) as well as two diesel hydraulic railcars built by the modern version of Edwards Railcar.

As I organize photos, I look for information on the line, I am finding lots of tourist pictures of pretty blue trains but little solid information… Suggestions welcome.

I believe that the two locomotives shown in the photo are 356 Alco DL-535B 1200 hp C-C 1963, One of 10 locomotives, 350-359 built 1/69, for FCdS Alco c/n 84669-79, apparently in both narrow and standard gauge and 400 ALCO DL-535A 1200 hp C-C 1963, Reported to have been built for General Belgrano Ry, Argentina, If so rebuilt from meter gauge

One thought… yes, this railroad is not on the Pacific Rim, so technically is beyond PacificNG’s mission statement… but most people access it via Lima and the Pacific side of South America, and as part of the FCdS it connects to the Pacific.
Randy Hees

Director, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City
Railway Preservation News
Chasing old trains where ever I may find them...

Rich Dunn
Joined:Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:47 pm

Re: Cuzco narrow gauge

Post by Rich Dunn » Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:31 am

I visited Machu Picchu last year and road the Cuzco y Santa Ana rail line to the site like everyone else. A great experience and unfortunately no longer operating any steam locomotives.

There is an interesting article in the April, 1927 issue of "Baldwin Locomotives" magazine on the building of the line and the first five locomotives - all Baldwin, of course. Two moguls and three handsome 2-8-2 locos. Only one of these original 2-8-2 locos exists today and it is now in a park in the Lima suburb of Miraflores.

Over the years the line inherited other locomotives including the former Sumpter Valley 4-6-0 #50, which operated at least into the mid 1970's. A later locomotive roster for the line can be found in the book "World Of South American Steam" by Roy Christian and Ken Mills.

Unfortunately, I don't have any information regarding the current equipment operating on the line.

Rich Dunn

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