The International Steam Pages

Steam Era Relics in Peru and Bolivia 2016
Steam Cranes at Lake Titicaca

Kevin Hoggett reports on his trip with the Railway Touring Company in October 2016.

Click for the other parts:



We sailed into the docks on a lake cruise. S.S. Ollanta, the passenger ship built 1930 by Earles of Hull which provided the overnight service to Bolivia until 1981 is berthed there and looks in good condition. She is owned by Peru Rail, a daughter of Belmond, and they say she is under repair with the intention of operating lake cruises, let’s hope so! Close by is a steam bucket dredger, built 1930 which is apparently still used to keep the channel to Puno clear, and the old train ferry (motor). Two steam cranes were visible on the quay, at least one was a Smith, Rodley. According to earlier reports there are actually four here, all out of use:

Wilson 4-wheel steam
Smith C/N 7024 4-wheel steam
Smith C/N 16621 4-wheel steam (the original of the picture below suggests 18821)
Smith C/N 16622 4-wheel steam

About two miles outside Puno, along the railway towards Juliaca, SS Coya is beached (see other report). Next door to it is a small shipyard. This was closed since it was the weekend, but it was possible to see two steam cranes, apparently disused. Also of note was a shed from which a smokebox and tall chimney protruded, apparently the winch house for the slipway on which a modern lake cruiser was being repaired. The winch must be steam therefore! (See also below.)



On the other side of Lake Titicaca at Guaqui where the ships from Puno used to arrive, four steam cranes are derelict in various states of disrepair. Two could be identified, both Smith, Rodley, No 16623 and “no1” Smith 7023. The quayside is now a military base, to which access was denied, but one steam crane, another Smith, is still on the quay, maintained and used from time to time!

Unidentified crane

Smith, Rodley 16623

Smith, Rodley 7023

Smith, Rodley 7023 and unidentified boilerless crane

This is the 'off limits active crane'

The following images of the cranes at Puno, Peru, appeared on but that site is now defunct as are others owned by the photographer, Michael Grimes. I have recovered the following images from and I think it in the public interest to preserve them. If I have offended his inherited copyright, just let me know and I will remove them.

The 'dead' page also contains some lovely pictures of SS Ollante on a cruise probably ca 2004. This green Smith, Rodley appears to carry the number 18821, although some sources quote 1621 which would tie in with the others. 

 This one of the others:

Intriguing is this boiler (referred to above) and building at the top of a slipway which suggest that a steam winch is inside the building 

Rob Dickinson