The International Steam Pages

Steam locomotives shunting at Encarnación, Paraguay

Until some time probably in 2010, Encarnación in Paraguay still saw shunting by a set of Edwardian British steam locomotives, now read on....

Asunción resident Renaud Olgiati reported (14th January 2011) "At the Encarnación end, I believe that all traffic has now stopped, as the rising waters of Yacyreta dam have flooded a section of the track on the Argentine side."

The end is nigh, Neil Edwards was here with a tour group in August 2009 and reports on his visit (23rd August 2009):

Click here for a German language report of an April 2007 visit 

Darrien Welsby reports (25th January 2007) "Last regular revenue steam in Paraguay continues to operate at the Encarnación freight terminal. Work centres around shunting the yard, with Soy produce moving via diesel operation (America Latina Logistica) across the river to Posadas and on to Brazil, and fertilizer returning to Paraguay. Word is that the operation is growing and hopefully will continue for some time. I saw locos 59 & 60 operating over a number of days, with locos 101, 104 and 524 at Encarnacion loco depot. Locos 101 and 104 are apparently operational and 524 is out of action. Click here for some pictures.

Peter Lais reports (27th December 2005). "I visited Encarnación in Paraguay on my recent trip to South America (Oct 26th 2005). First, I entered the engine shed which, as it is cut off from the main workshop located at Sapucay, also serves as workshop itself. #60 was just being fired up. Inside the shed was also #101. Outside I found #524 which to me seemed dumped, however, the staff there claimed that it is serviceable... #8 is definitely derelict. Near the turntable was #104. After, I transferred to the Pacu Cuá yard, just past the rail/road bridge coming from Posadas, Argentina. The yard was quite busy as soya was being loaded on the boxcars. Upon my arrival, # 59 was doing the shunting job, but around 12 noon #60 showed up and took over. In total, 4 locomotives are in working condition: #59, 60, 101 and 104. The staff was very friendly and obviously pleased that their 'scrap' was of so much interest."

El Reportero Ferroviario of 18th January 2005 contained a report which stated that the same four steam locomotives were at still at Encarnación as reported in March 2004, but that the railway wanted to dieselise this operation (13th February 2005). 

As Henry Posner III reported (12th March 2004): "Normally 1 or 2 locos of 4 serviceable (these are all ex-Paraguayan Central North British, mainly 1910 vintage, 2-6-0s: Nos. 59, 60, 101 and 104 ) continue to be  in steam 24 hours/day on shunt work at Encarnación's freight terminal, Empalme.  A delightful snippet is that the Paraguay Navy has a 1929 steam gunboat, and I have asked if it can be chartered." The article covers this and also the operation of the Asunción tourist train with 2-6-0 54 and 2-8-0 No. 521 which began running in February 2004. I have now received two pictures of 60 shunting at Encarnación's freight terminal from Henry Posner III, also a picture of the vintage gunboat referred to above, the Humaita which is a Chaco War veteran, having taken forces to Pto. Casado, from where they fought the Bolivians. This and a surprising amount of information on Pto. Casado may be found in the splendid new travel book, "The Tomb of the Inflatable Pig". Click here for these pictures

Rob Dickinson