The International Steam Pages

Once upon a time, long ago,
Ponferrada - Villablino, the Baldwin Tanks, May 1980

Wilson Lythgoe has been circulating friends with some steam pictures taken some time back and with his permission and encouragement they are reproduced on these pages and will be added to from time to time. Click here for the index.

As well as the Engerth locos looked at previously the PV line, in Northern Spain, was using a number of 2-6-2 Baldwin tanks. Ten of these 49 ton engines were purchased new in 1919 and were the lines sole motive power until the Engerths started to arrive in 1938. New Zealanders viewing this will immediately see the similarities between these Baldwins and their own Wb and Wd engines; there is certainly a distinctive Baldwin look!

By the time of my visit in May/June 1980 the Baldwins were being used on shunt duties at Ponferrada and Villablino plus running trains on the short branches from Villablino to the mines. Each evening I was there though I saw a double headed train, Engerth plus Baldwin, leaving Ponferrada at 22.00 for Villablino. Too late for photography but a fabulous sound as the engines tackled the grade heading out of town. I can only presume that this was how the railway changed the Baldwins around at the top end of the line so there may also have been a return working double headed but I never saw it.

PV 3, at the Ponferrada depot, looking as if an overhaul was close to completion. The Baldwins were all named engines with brass plates cab side honouring people associated with the founding of the railroad. The plates on PV 3 read 'Marques de Aldama'. On the left is PV 15 (Macosa 150/1956) and on the right PV 11 (Krauss 7626/1920). PV 11 was acquired secondhand in 1938 and was the first locomotive to arrive since the Baldwins.

Another view of 3, 11 and 16. PV 16 was built by the Spanish Company Macosa in 1956.

Two days later PV 3 had been painted and was under going trials on the grade leading out of town. The change, compared with the previous two pictures, is so great I had to double check the dates on my slides!

At the top end of the line PV 2 'Conde de los Caitanes' goes about its business whilst in the background PV 16 stands in the servicing area after bringing a load of empties up to Villablino.

PV 2 again this time alongside PV 5 'Villabaso'.

PV 7 'Arano Lupardo' bringing a train down from the mines.

More coal from the mines with PV 5 doing the honours.

Another look at PV 7 as it heads towards Villablino. The Baldwins were an attractive looking engine with that typical Baldwin look, lots of brass plus those romantic sounding names!

Rob Dickinson