M Y O B

The Life and Times of Bruce Bramson

RETURN TO ECUADOR VI

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Several weeks have passed since I put up the last page dealing with what I found in the old shops at Durán. This page takes up where the last left off, still in 1993.

Using my collection of prints taken in 1979, I bribed the guard at the gate of the new shops. These photos were taken there.

2407 & RB 96 1It seemed the battery was still dead on Railbus Number 96: here, it is being given a tow-job by Alsthom  Diesel number 2407. That’s the Guayas river just beyond the end of rail: this is where all new equipment is landed from barges to get rolling-stock onto rails of the G&Q (ENFE).

2407 & RB 96 2Railbus 96 is looking a bit forlorn here, and clearly was not in the best of shape. Nevertheless, it departed later on fully loaded, headed uphill to Bucay (and presumably, beyond).

Duran ShopsInside the new shops, this juxtaposition of old and new caught my eye. Number 11 was preserved in grease, and Alsthom 2403, roughly a hundred years newer, sat over pits next to it.

Eng 11 Preserved 1A close look at the motion of Number 11. All the bright-work was slathered in heavy grease to protect it from rust.

Eng 11 Preserved 2The other side of Number 11, carefully painted then preserved. Presumably by this time its use was reserved for charters and special occasions.

Eng 11 Preserved 3A better look at Number 11. Number 17, also preserved, is parked ahead of it.

Eng 17 Preserved 1Number 17 was also there, carefully preserved.

Eng 17 Preserved 2Another look at Number 17.

Eng 17 Preserved 3Nicely painted, Number 17 also awaits charters and special occasions.

Eng 17 Preserved 4These small Atlantics were beautiful engines!

Eng 18 S&C 1Number 18, from the Sibambe-Cuenca Branch was undergoing major repairs.

Eng 18 S&C 2It is possible this engine was being cannibalized, but I rather got the impression it was being rebuilt.

Eng 18 S&C 3The smoke-box of Number 18.

Eng 18 S&C 4Builder’s Plate for Number 18.

Eng 18 S&C 5I found it interesting that they used wood for lagging! I guess it worked.

Engine 7 1Engine Number 7 was also present, and appeared to be in working order. It was not preserved. It had been the yard engine in 1979, and perhaps is still was.

Engine 7 had clearly been rebuilt after I saw it in 1979.

Leaving 1The New Shops at Durán are in the background: in the foreground is a trailer with the remains of a locomotive, apparently on its way to a scrap yard and melt-down.

Leaving 2I could get no clue as to what engine this had once been.

Remains #5Scattered around Durán were remains of other engines; this was the hulk of Number 55.

RemainsNumber 55 rusting away. One wonders whether the missing chunk of its front tube-sheet was taken out for use elsewhere, or blew out (which would have been quite an event!) It appears to have been neatly cut.

Remains 1Another of the several hulks rotting away. This gives an good idea of the complexity of a boiler, though, showing many of the stays that hold it all together.Remains 2Weeds overtaking another rust-bucket.

Remains 3Yet another. My guess is these are all gone by now, as they were hauling one away when I was there.

Remains 4There’s really not a whole lot left of this one!

New DeiselThis is the running-gear of one of the new Alsthom Diesels, which appeared to be brand-new.

Railbus 94Railbus 94, which I rode in 1979 was still looking good!

LinksThis heap of links was in a corner of the new shops. It is hard to determine how many locomotives are represented here!

WorkerThe only person I saw in the few hours I spent in the new shops was this chap. shaping a chunk of metal for some purpose or other.

So, there you have it: all the photos from my trip to Ecuador in 1993. As mentioned previously, I came away dejected, feeling that steam was near the end of its life on the G&Q. From YouTube videos, I deduce that numbers 18 and 44 may still be running from time to time, although there is a video of 18 being trucked to Quito (perhaps for display only?)

In any case, the railroad seems to have been brought back to life, at least as a tourist attraction, which is a good thing. I recommend to anyone who loves railroads to get down to Ecuador and have a look and a ride: you won’t be disappointed.

And, for the time being, this ends my blog. Nothing much of consequence has taken place in my life since 1993, so until something consequential does happen, it’s good bye for now. I would greatly love to get updates on the G&Q (ENFE) from anyone who has been there recently: address me at MYOB@brucebramson.com .

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Written by Editor

January 16th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

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