The International Steam Pages

The G&Q and the TUT Tour

To save myself time, I did no editing of the reports but left them broadly as they came in. Bear this in mind when reading this page.

The latest update was posted by Chris Skow on April 26th, 2002

No. 11 2-6-0 Baldwin 1900........................Based in Duran
No. 14 2-6-0 Baldwin 1901........................Based in Ibarra
No. 17 2-8-0 Baldwin 1935........................Based in Alausi (Will be in Alausi soon)
No. 53 2-8-0 Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton 1953..Based in Riobamba
No. 58 2-8-0 Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton 1953..Based in Bucay
Note: No. 58 is the last narrow gauge steam locomotive to be built by Baldwin in the USA. (BLH)

Since the last report new developments include:

***Moving No. 17 from Bucay to Alausi. No. 17 will be available for charter train work on the Devil's Nose Switchbacks. The railroad is getting ready to move No. 17 from Bucay to Alausi by truck.
***No. 58 in Bucay is now opertional


***Ibarra to Primer Paso: (San Lorenzo Railroad) Regular railcar service is now being offered.
***Quito to Riobamba: Only railcars can operate on this section at this time. No trains because of poor condition of the railroad. No regular service being offered yet. Only charter work.
***Quito to Copopaxi: Regular weekend diesel tourist trains will start soon.
***Riobamba to Urbina Summit: Charter steam trains OK.
***Riobamba to Palmira: Charter steam trains OK.
***Riobamba to Sibambe: Railcars only. Track conditions between Palmira and Alausi poor condition for any trains. Regular railcar service is being offered, but not daily.
***Alausi to Sibambe: Railcar and now steam trains. No. 17 will be based in Alausi in the next few weeks and will run scheduled tourist trains down to the Devil's Nose Switchbacks. This service has not been started yet. Regular railcars are running down the Devil's Nose Switchbacks now.
***Sibambe to Huigra: This section will remain closed at this time.
***Huigra to Bucay: This section is now open. Charter railcar service offered. Regular railcar service will start soon.
***Bucay to Valdez: This section is closed and will remain so for now.
***Valdez to Duran: Open. Regular railcar service is now being offered. Also charter steam trains are OK.

The task involved should not be underestimated. Ian Thomson comments (23rd March 2002): "I was in the Duran shops on 7th December 2001, walking around and speaking with the Manager. The only work going on was rehabilitating the track Durán to just west of Milagro, for a railbus service over around 30km, using vehicle No. 93. The service could not get any further east since the Mayor had paved over the tracks through the town. There was a virtually operable 2-6-0 (No. 7) in the shops, and another needing repair (No. 11). 2-8-0 No. 18 was as it had been years before, at the very start of a repair job. Two days previously I had spoken with the newly appointed General Manager in Quito, who was interested in potential private participation in the Railway. He had identified some traffic flows, mainly cement, potentially transportable by rail, but nobody spoke of any massive rehabilitation programme.. However, the Quito-Cotopaxi Sundays only tourist service was to be restored the following weekend. This was to be diesel powered, using one of the Alsthom Bo-Bo-Bos. A regular railbus was also thought to be running between Ibarra and San Lorenzo and special trains able to be rented between Alausi and Huigra, via the Nariz del Diablo zig-zag." Ian adds (4th April 2002): "...yesterday I was speaking with the Director of Infrastructure at Ecuador's State Modernization Council. He says that the Mayor of Durán has also had the tracks paved over, just like that of Milagro had already done. Hence the railbus can go from just outside Durán, to just inside Milagro. He also says that the railbus from Ibarra is not running as far as San Lorenzo, but thinks it might be running to an intermediate point."

Chris Skow wrote (28th March 2002) after receiving an email from the railroad management:

As of today the following sections are open for business on both the San Lorenzo Railroad and the G&Q.

***Ibarra to Primer Paso 28 miles: This is on the San Lorenzo Railroad. Regular daily railcar service has just been restarted. Steam locomotive No. 14 has been cleared to run Ibarra all the way to Primer Paso.

***Quito to Sibambe 206 miles: Regular railcar service will be started very soon. Steam locomotive No. 53 is cleared to run Riobamba to Urbina Summit 27 miles and Riobamba to Palmira 41 miles.

***Huigra to Bucay 18 miles: No regular service is planned until late 2002. Sibambe to Huigra 9 miles still closed and has very serious track damage. This section is planned to be open later in 2002. Steam Locomotive No. 17 is cleared to run Bucay to Huigra.

***Duran to Milagro 21 miles: open and regular railcar service has been started. Steam locomotive No. 11 has been cleared to run Duran to Milagro. Milagro to Bucay 33 miles will remain closed at this time with estimated opening sometime in 2003.

Baldwin No. 53 a 2-8-0 is at Riobamba
Baldwin No. 58 a 2-8-0 is at Bucay

(NB this corrects previous information...)

Chris Skow previously wrote (26th March 2002):

Here is the latest update coming directly from the general manager of the G&Q as of March 15th. The report from the general manager has stressed that if all goes as planned by July 2002 the railroad will be open for traffic from Quito all the way to Bucay. Also between Duran and Valdez. But, the section between Valdez and Bucay (34 miles) will still be closed. No estimate on when this section might open up.

Also the San Lorenzo Railroad is now closed because of a massive land slide. The only section of the San Lorenzo Railroad that can accept any rail traffic at all is between Ibarra and Salinas, a distance of 18 miles. The general manager has given Trains Unlimited, Tours permission to run a charter railcar from Ibarra to Salinas and return. There is a turning Wye at Salinas to turn the railcar. Also permission has been given to charter a train using steam locomotive No. 14 for a few miles out of Ibarra. So TUT will use both charter railcar and charter steam for this venture. This could very well be the last movements ever over the San Lorenzo Railroad. At this time the general manager said they are not planning to repair the slide and reopen the railroad to San Lorenzo. It will all depend upon government repair money.

The general manager has reported that if all goes as planned the G&Q mainline will be open for traffric from Quito all the way to Bucay. Then between Duran and Valdez. The section between Valdez and Bucay (34 miles) will remain closed at this time.

If this rebuilding schedule is met by July railroad management has proposed the following schedule for the TUT tour.

***Quito to Riobamba: Charter railcar
***Quito to Urbina Summit and return: Charter train with Baldwin 2-8-0 No. 53 (not 58 as previously stated).
***Quito to Palmira: Charter railcar and charter train with Baldwin 2-8-0 No. 53 (not 58 as previously stated)
***Palmira to Huigra: Charter railcar
***Huigra to Alausi: Charter railcar and charter train with Baldwin 2-8-0 No. 17
***Alausi to Devil's Nose Switchbacks: Charter railcar and charter train with Baldwin No. 17
***Devil's Nose Switchbacks and Bucay: Charter railcar
***Duran to Valdez: Charter railcar. Also charter train with Baldwin 2-6-0 No. 11 or 2-6-0 No. 7 a few miles out of Duran. Not all the way to Valdez because of poor track conditions.

Note: On all sections that steam will not run on the above proposal the reason why is because of poor track conditions.

According to the general manager the following steam Locomotives will be used for our tour in July.
No. 11 2-6-0 Baldwin (Possible No. 7 2-6-0 Baldwin instead)
No. 14 2-6-0 Baldwin
No. 17 2-8-0 Baldwin (Ex Sibambe & Cuenca RR engine)
No. 53 2-8-0 Baldwin (not 58 as previously stated)

Note: Per my first message, No. 58 is not being repaired and will not be run in July. No. 58 is at Bucay and needs several parts from No. 53 (These two locomotives share parts in order to run) - corrected 28th March 2002!

So to sum it up the following steam locomotives are considered to be in operating condition with some work needed .
No. 7
No. 11
No. 14
No. 17
No. 53
No. 58

At this time it is expected that the following steam locomotives will be fired up and used for the Trains Unlimited, Tours charters in July, of which TUT has sent money to the railroad to perform some needed repair work.
No. 11
No. 14
No. 17
No. 53 (not 58 as previously stated)

Rob Dickinson