The International Steam Pages

Narrow Gauge Locomotives in Uruguay

This information has been provided by Tabare Bordach, with updates from Marcelo Benoit (3rd August 2007).

Historians of several countries could have identified about 80 narrow-gauge locomotives (from 500 mm to 3 feet) which worked in Uruguay, although surely should have existed more than 120. Apart from some, all the stock was ordered from Germany. The 0-4-0T of 600-mm gauge of track was the favoured type. Two were 0-8-0T wheel arrangement, an unusual type for a 600-mm gauge in South America.

With the exception of the six engines of the very known Piria Railway (1907-1958), many industrial railways and companies of construction of ports, buildings and highways owned the rest of them. A few of those have survived until our days, and only one is in working order, which is owned by Indare.S.A. Listing 27 engines, this company was the largest user of Decauville-gauge locomotives in South America's industries. The complete collection is stored at Indare shed.

LVD1 was the only one 600-mm gauge on the Uruguayan State Railways (AFE). Rebuilt as an oil-fired engine, she worked at AFE's stone quarry, near Paso de los Toros.

LVD1 Orenstein & Koppel 2029/1906 formerly preserved at CEFU's (closed) Railway Museum, it is now at Penarol Roundhouse (photo by Marcelo Benoit, 3rd August 2007):

An unusual wheel arrangement for narrow-gauge track in South America: 0-8-0 tank locomotive built by Henschel & Sohn as 21208/1928. The Railmodel Association of Piriapolis preserves her. Krupp built the bogie coach.

The Northern Sand Quarry Co. of Colonia owned Orenstein & Koppel 11099 of 1925. This loco is plinthed at km 120 on Route No. 1, near junction to Colonia Suiza. Marcelo Benoit tells me (3rd August 2007) that it has now received a much needed repaint. 

"Besozzi" is a locomotive of 20 CV built by Henschel & Sohn for the old Burgueño Quarry (now National Cement Co.). The loco carries her correct maker's plates 19255/1925. Initially preserved it was preserved at Punta Gorda quarter in the eastern part of Montevideo and placed in front of a paddle playing club (this information from M.Pienovi (7th November 2004). Mareclo Benoit now tells me (3rd August 2007) it has been sold to Brazil and is now at Canoas university (picture by Sergio Martire).

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Rob Dickinson