The International Steam Pages

Narrow Gauge Collection at Indare in Uruguay, 2005

Tabare Bordach has sent this information. There is a photo report from 2012 available on this site with more locomotives shown and James Waite has posted a further report from his 2013 visit which contains a revised locomotive list.

Photos: Leonardo San Martin & Pablo De Vita exceptionally Marcelo Benoit as noted. 

A railway novelty on the Uruguayan side of River Plate coast was opened on January 2, 1999, which runs along a field into Indare Sand Quarries Co., covering a quarter of a mile. The gauge is 600mm. The line begins at the locomotive shed and concludes at the head of an old steam-operated bridge, now abandoned. In a future project, the railway would cross this bridge to extend the line more than 1½ miles. There is one locomotive in working order on the Indare Railway, which was built by Orenstein & Koppel in 1912. This 0-4-0WT wood-fired engine carries her correct maker's plates 5835, and is numbered 15. She has 6in. x 12in. cylinders, 1ft. 8in. wheels, a working pressure of 150 lb. per sq. in. with 2,600 lb. of tractive effort and 20 HP. The passenger stock consists of 10 open cars, each with a seating capacity for 4, and an additional for 6.

From 1928 onwards, the quarries were exploited at Boca del Rosario, which is a seaside resort on the River Plate estuary opposite Buenos Aires. The quarry company itself owns twenty-seven locomotives, one of which was built by Papin, and the others twenty-six of German design. All maintenance of locomotives and rolling stock was carried out by the company itself, which had extensive workshops at the quarry, with all necessary machinery and a foundry where all rail crossing, axle boxes and other parts were made. Over 30 miles of 600mm track was laid throughout the quarry, with a main line of about 10 miles in length. In August 1982, modern trucks replaced the railway, but the locomotives were all kept under cover with the purpose of preserve them. Like as exception, the last train ran for British enthusiasts, on October 23, 1985. 0-4-0 well-tank locomotive No. 25, built by Henschel as 28518/1950 headed it. Two years later, the track began to be removed, selling it to scrap merchants.

Recently the district has taken a public interest, and the proprietors of the quarries decided to reopen the railway. The trip is supplemented with a visit to the naval and railway shops where extensive renewals and repairs have been carried out on old machinery. Dating from 1928, an impressive generating plant of electric power also remains, in which several boilers, turbines, alternators, dynamos and control panels are maintained in good condition. In the museum at the quarry, about fifteen interesting examples of early stock are preserved on rails.

After seventeen years, Nş 15 was put again on steam. This O & K of 1912 works the passenger train at Indare, the two pictures below were taken in October 2004 by Marcelo Benoit. 

Last day before withdrawn, Indare 25 is ready to work a special for British enthusiasts on October 23, 1985. She is exhibited in good condition.

Indare engine number 9 (Jung of 1927). This locomotive (photographed in 1974) is now stored at Indare shed.

Oil-fired Indare 26 (Henschel of 1950) is seen at work in 1980.

Nş 22 of 1910 is one of eleven O & K owned by Indare. She is preserved at Indare Museum.

Click here to return to the Railway Studies Circle of Uruguay (CEFU)

Rob Dickinson