The International Steam Pages

The Savanna tourist steam train in Colombia

The Savanna tourist steam train ("Tren Turistico de la Sabana" (TURISTREN)) has regularly run out of Bogota since 1993 at weekends and on selected weekdays on charter, the company's website is Company representative Eduardo Rodriguez  first contacted me in June 2001 and supplied information on the stock and operation and also some pictures of the locomotives at work (19th September 2001). 

"We have visited your site at "Steam in the Americas" 2001, in which is highlighted some commentaries about the steam trains in Colombia, that we want to comment about, as operators and owners of the "Tren Turistico de la Sabana" (TURISTREN). We are a private company that has operated this train since the year of 1993, and is still doing it today with the only steam train in Colombia. This train runs all the weekends of the year and weekdays only in charter services, with a total average of 160 round trips a year. The roundtrip is 106km, and the average speed is 25 km/h. We go to the near town of Zipaquira famous because a Salt Cathedral and also to the typical town of Cajica nearby to Bogota, capital city of the country.

Trains are pulled by Baldwin 2-8-2 or 4-8-0 steam locomotives in trains with 15 coaches with 615 passengers.

We have refurbished and have in service the following locomotives:
Baldwin (73057) #85 1947 2-8-2
Baldwin (73056) #72 1947 2-8-2
Baldwin (73059) #75 1947 2-8-2
Baldwin (73095) #76 1947 4-8-0

Because of the high costs of the fuel, we have recently converted 1 locomotive #75 working with coal and at this moment we are converting # 85, this decision is saving us the 80% of the cost of the fuel. We have bought the locomotives that we believe can be repaired ,
Baldwin (54816) #8 1921 2-6-0
Baldwin (60008) #44 1927 2-8-2
Baldwin (60570) #48 1928 2-8-2
Baldwin (70893) #109 1944 4-8-0
Baldwin (71973) #114 1944 4-8-0

Our workshops dated from 1913 are situated in The Central Station of la Sabana. There we have all the tool machines needed and some spares of older locomotives that we are scrapped. "

Eduardo Rodriguez  updated (3rd November 2002): We have a new web page We still have the 4 locomotives in service (72-75-76-85), but because the high price of oil we have converted 75 and 85 to coal burning (with a big saving). At the moment we are changing 72 to coal, 76 remains with fuel-oil. 8, 44, 48, 109, 114 are in the work-shop waiting to be rehabilitated. We have bought 65 (Baldwin 60271 4-8 0 1928) and 112 ( Baldwin 72243 4-8-2 1945) but they are in a very poor condition.

Eduardo Rodriguez continues the story (28th January 2004): We have finished the repair and conversion to coal of locomotive 72 (Baldwin 2-8-2 73056/1947). Today it took its first trip, with 14 passenger coaches. Now we will start the coal conversion of locomotive 76 (Baldwin 4-8-0 73095/1947). During 2003, the steam trains of Turistren "Savanna Tourist Train" travelled 242 times, with aprox.105,000 passengers and a total distance of 23,500 kilometers.

Rob Dickinson