The International Steam Pages
Steam in Peru 2001
Dale Brown was on the 2001 Trains Unlimited trip to Peru and reports as follows:
The future for the steam in Peru is very dark.
First, let us address the main problem. The Peruvian Government is trying to clear the books of all railroad property that has not been conveyed to the new private Railroad Company's.
When we arrived in Lima's Desamparados Station last early August, two gentlemen from ENAFER greeted us. They tried to get our interest in purchasing the 0-4-0T # 20, a Beyer Peacock Locomotive parked at the station. They knew nothing about business, and neither apparently about steam locomotives market price. Their questions were: how much is this locomotive worth, who do you think would buy it, would there be buyers in England? This gives you an idea about what Peruvian people in charge to liquidate the company are planning to do with the remains of trains in Peru.
They also mentioned that they have three steam locomotives in Arequipa, one in Cusco, and maybe one in Huancayo. In addition, several old CdeP cars and cabooses were moved from Central Andina property to ENAFER property in La Oroya for disposal.
In Pacasmayo, northern coast of Peru, there are two derelict 0-4-0T's that the ENAFER people came to see at the old railroad station. They wanted to scrap the engines. Dr. Andrew Nelson, a Canadian professor, is trying to restore the Depot and keep the engines as a display. At this time, the ENAFER has backed off on scrapping the locomotives. However, this attitude seems to be "we will scrap anything that is not claimed for".
Here are some photos of Central of Peru, Beyer Peacock 2-8-0 #206 in new Central Andina colors.note the new FVCA reporting marks, Central Andina, Conrail like logo (a C and A inside the wheels of Conrail) and the old Llama herald restored to the tender. In June, we visited the locomotive at Chosica, Peru at the base of the Andes east of Lima for a short morning steam up visit. The shop crew had started repainting the locomotive. In addition, the locomotive is now kept at Chosica as the FVCA has closed the Guadalupe shops in Callao. This is why the 0-4-0T # 20 was moved to Desemparados Depot because of the closing of the shops. In addition, the best of the passenger car fleet is now kept at Chosica. The private cars Paquita and Ataualhpa are stationed there.
Other steam survivors include 3 foot gauge Huancayo and Huancavelica Baldwin #112, a 2-6-0 (probably renumbered #102) and Hunslet 2-8-0 #107 at the Huancayo and Huancavelica shops with Luis Lazarte, General Manager, .
Cusco and Santa Ana Railroad narrow gauge steam locomotive Henschel #123 a 2-8-2 is on display in Urpicha park in Cusco. The new PeruRail operator is improving service on the former Southern Peru and Cusco and Santa Ana lines. A new refurbished train is now used on the Puno to Cusco run. Four ex-Bolivian meter gauge railcars were loaded atop standard gauge PeruRail flats at the Puno railyards. These cars were to be shipped to Cusco for conversion to 3-foot gauge and rebuilding for use on Machu Picchu trains. They had just came from Bolivia across Lake Titicaca on the rail barge.
Also the last remaining steamer on Lake Titicaca, SS Ollanta is operating and in great condition. The PeruRail operators have signed a 10-year contract to allow a cruise company to market and operate regular tours on the Ollanta. The PeruRail Company has not been able to get many charters for the boat. Therefore, they have leased the boat to another company to do this. This may keep groups like Trains Unlimited from using the boat on regular trips.
The train in Surco operated for the Trains Unlimited Tour in June and this was the first group to see the train operate. The park is over 50% finished and the train ride is complete. The only thing needed is shelter building for steam locomotive and the train on the one siding in the park.
Two other reports. The Government has permanently closed the Tacna-Arica Railroad. The February flood in Arica cut the line at the Railroad Bridge to Chile. The Arica-La Paz metre gauge railroad is also shutdown.
The Manager of the H&H said that if there is no money in the annual budget for Railroads, he may be forced to shutdown on Oct 1, 2001. In addition, our locomotive Alco Diesel # 435 broke down on our trip and he has no money to repair it. The railroad has only one working diesel and it has only one traction motor working. The Japanese rail car also is operational. However, out of three diesels only one now operates.