The International Steam Pages
Steam in Colombia 2015/6
Mark Enderby reports on the first part of a Railway Touring Company trip to Colombia (and Ecuador). I have appended some notes from Clive Hepworth who was here more recently, Mark's original report follows.
Clive Hepworth writes of his February 2016 visit:
Tourist trains still run as per usual supplemented by a student "commuter" service (diesel hauled) as was the case by 2011. Eduardo continues with plans for expansion of the tourist service on the branch to Gachancipá and beyond. RTC ran a charter to the latter on Sunday 20th September 2015 much to amazement of locals as this was the first steam since 2007. 76 did the honours while 72 was on the tourist train.
On the Monday, 72, 76 and 85 were all in steam along with 8 which took the RTC charter to Usaquen where 85 took over to Zipaquira. It wasn't long before the rear pony suffered a hotbox but liberal greasing ensured the return trip to Usaquen was completed (despite a minor derailment at Zipaquira). Indeed 85 managed a storming non-stop leg from Cajica-Usaquen, keeping ahead of the "commuter" service. Long sections clearly impact the ability to run extras especially when incidents occur.
Other locos present were 75 under repair in the depot and 44, 48, 109, 114 and 16 in the line of derelict locos awaiting attention. 16 also carries the number 54 and a painted notice saying 'Schwarzkopf 9551/1915'. (TK points out that Centrales 16 should be 9547, Centrales 15, now scrapped, should have been 9551, the building date is actually 1929). There was no sign of 65 and 112, pictures of which were shown to us by Eduardo (TK adds that 65 was reported in Cali in 2001 but not since, 112 was reported at the El Corzo works in Facatativa but not there when he visited in 2011.)
There was plenty of evidence of track refurbishment especially on the Zipaquira branch.
The picture shows 76 after arrival at Gachancipá.
More pictures from the trip: