he International Steam Pages

Once upon a time, long ago,
More Steam from the Philippines, 1982

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.

Hawaiian - Philippine Sugar Co

The Hawaiian - Philippine Sugar Co, on the island of Negros, had a reputation for being super friendly to visiting rail fans and this proved true when I spent half a day there during my January 1982 visit to The Philippines. Mind you, in all honesty, I found all the sugar railways to be more than happy to allow me to visit and wander.......

I must have arrived at the wrong time of the day though as in a letter home I wrote: ".....but picked a lean time to visit as all bar three locos were out in the fields and wouldn't be back before dark apparently. A cab ride for over an hour out to a siding more than made up for that though." 

It was oil fired No 4, an 0-6-0 Baldwin built in 1920, I rode on to collect a load of cane for the mill. I'm unsure whether this shot was taken shunting the siding or on arrival back at the mill.

No 4 & 7 seen together in the Mill sidings. No 4 is getting ready to leave with empties while No 7 has just arrived with a loaded train. All Hawaiian - Philippine engines were named both on the tender and the smokebox plate......these two being 'R C Pitcairn' and 'Edwin B Herkes'.

A closer look at No 7, an 0-6-0 Baldwin from 1928, shows both the loco name on the smokebox plate plus the drivers name, E Bacanto, on another plate beneath the twin headlights. I'm unsure as to what the DY-2193 refers to though. Painted an attractive blue colour with yellow lining the Hawaiian - Philippine locos were a joy to behold.

Odd one out on the roster was No 1 'C W Hines'. Although an 0-6-0, like the Baldwins, it did not have their elegant good looks appearing to be a much more solid and chunkier looking engine typical of its Henschel origin.

A FarRail Tour visited Negros in 2007 and James Waite reported No's 1 & 4 to be stored and for sale. No 7 was the sole steamer in working order (although another was under repair) and worked trains into the fields for the group.

San Carlos Milling Co

Round the other side of the island San Carlos Milling had two of their seven engines in light steam. The sugar cane was just about ready to harvest and they thought trains would be running within the week.

No 7 was modern motive power by sugar railway standards. An 0-6-0 built by Henschel in 1953 it was on sleeper replacement duty in the main yard when I called. All the San Carlos engines had those big sand boxes below the smokebox door: no doubt ready for hand application. Wouldn't Health & Safety just love it! Two of these 1953 built Henschels were at San Carlos.....I wonder if any sugar line in the world had more recently built steam locomotives. (Yes there were two 1961 Jungs and a 1971 Hunslet in Java for a start! RD).

No 3 was an 0-6-0ST+T built by Baldwin in 1912......it didn't look as if it was going to be used any time in the near future though.

No 5, with bagasse in the tender and a little smoke coming from its oversize chimney, could almost have been ready to hit the road had there been anything for it to do. Twin headlights, bell, an attractive paint scheme of green, red and yellow No 5, an 0-6-0 built by Baldwin in 1926, looked good sitting in the late afternoon sun at the loco shed!

San Carlos closed in the late 1990's when the bank called in their loans. When FarRail visited in 2007 No 7 was plinthed nearby, there was no sign of No 3 whilst No 5 was dumped without its tender.

Central Azucarera de Tarlac

Located on the main Philippine island of Luzon this mill was just over two hours north of Manila. It seems to have been seldom visited by enthusiasts and to my regret I barely spent an hour there on my northwards rush to the rice terraces. (Fool that I was.....the rice terraces are still there but the steam locomotives are long gone!) In that hour though I did see four of their fleet of six steamers moving around the yard.

Nose to nose No 11 & No 12 move sugar cane around the mill yard. Both engines are 2-6-0 Henschels built in 1927. All the Tarlac locos were named after members of the owning family: 11 was 'Don Pepe' and 12 'Josephine'.

Over at the depot sees a dead No 13 alongside a very much alive No 10. No 13 'Cory' was another 1927 Henschel whilst 10 'Passy' was an 0-6-0 Baldwin from 1927. Tarlac engines were oil burners with tanks fitted to their tenders: not the most attractive of looks but certainly easier on the crew than having to fire with bagasse.

By early 1988 only one steam locomotive was still working at Tarlac with another as standby. CRJ reported in 2007 that their tenderless No 1, with two passenger cars, was on display next to a Starbucks in Tarlac City but after that I could find no further reference to the railway.

Rob Dickinson

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