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The Roots of Ferronor
By Ian Thomson


A large part of railway-related historical value has been lost, including the all-mighty Beyer-Garratt of Nitrate Railways, steam railcars from the same company, old rack-and-pinion track sections of the Northern Network, and the railway repair shop in Caldera - first of its kind in Chile. On the bright side, some have been saved, including the pieces identified in table 6, which have been declared national monuments (although some of them have, apparently, reached the end of their lifecycle). [See reference (iv).] This is now Ferronor´s heritage.

Other pieces from the beginnings of railway activity in Chile, despite being of have great historical value, do not have the status of national monument – as shown in table 7. The elements identified in the table belonged, during different periods in times, to companies that came before Ferronor. In locations where these companies used to operate there are still other railway pieces of historical importance, that were unrelated to these companies. Some of these are stored at Ferronor facilities, as is the second oldest locomotive in Chile, manufactured by Black, Hawthorn of Newcastle in 1887. Formerly it belonged to the Copiapó Mining Co., and is now on exhibition at Ferronor´s Copiapó Station square.

Nitrate Railways station
Iquique city.
Locomotive, rail yard, No. 8 of Nitrate Railways
04-12-79 Former Humberstone office. With steam engine and John Fowler brand, Leeds.
Locomotive, rail yard, No. 1035 of Chilian Northern
04-12-79 Former Humberstone office. With steam engine and Orenstein & Koppel brand, Germany.
Special wagon. Station 23 of Chilian Northern
04-12-79 Baquedano*
Dining car. Yt-23 of Chilian Northern 04-12-79 Baquedano* Brusch Electrical Engineering brand, Loughborough, England.
Locomotive 3501
16-12-83 Baquedano, Baldwin US Brand, type W, former Northern Network
Locomotive 3511
16-12-83 Baquedano, Baldwin US Brand, type W, former Northern Network
Locomotive 3518 16-12-83 Baquedano, Baldwin US Brand, type W, former Northern Network
Locomotive 3525 16-12-83 Baquedano, Baldwin US Brand, type W, former Northern Network
Locomotive 3530 16-12-83 Baquedano*, but this is not exist. Baldwin US Brand, type W.
Locomotive 3573 16-12-83 Baquedano, Borsig brand, Germany, type W, former F.C. Arica-La Paz
Locomotive 3223 16-12-83 Baquedano, Henschel Brand, Germany, type Q, former Chilian Northern
Machinery house
16-12-83 Baquedano
Power house 16-12-83 Baquedano
Maintenance workshop
16-12-83 Baquedano
Nitrate Hauler Car, C50-6 (made of Wood)
16-12-83 Baquedano; Belgium, probably former FC de Iquique to Pintados
Nitrate Hauler Car C50 (made of Wood) 16-12-83 Baquedano; Belgium, probably former FC de Iquique to Pintados
Nitrate hauler car (made of Steel) 16-12-83 Baquedano, American, probably former FC de Iquique to Pintados
Saloon wagon 16-12-83 Baquedano
Water Carrier Car - Macdonald, Gibbs 16-12-83 Formerly believed to be in Baquedano*. It was seen in the workshop in Coquimbo on February 6th 1990, but its current location is unknown. It was owned by EFE, Northern Network, Socometal brand, 1960 app.
Saloon wagon 2t-66 16-12-83 Baquedano
Wagon “in poor conditions” 16-12-83 Baquedano
Dusty wagon 16-12-83 Antofagasta
Old station of FCAB 12-01-80 Taltal, steam engine, Kitson-Meyer model
Locomotive No. 59 10-05-89 Kitson, Leeds, 1909, former FC de Taltal
Railway Location 15-11-83 Taltal
Locomotive “Junín” 29-09-89 Industrial Museum of Leeds*; to diesel, mechanics, Hundswell, Clark
Locomotive “Copiapó” 27-05-52 Copiapó; Norris Brothers brand, USA, 1850, former FC de Copiapó
Station 29-10-81 Copiapó
House of railway workers 29-10-81 Copiapó
Station 20-07-64 Caldera
Station 27-08-96 Cachiyuyo
Wall of former station 25-06-92 La Serena
Station 29-10-04 Salamanca
Station Locomotive Dt-4001 10-07-08 Talca (previously in the list of Northern Network), diesel, General Electric brand, USA, 1945
Locomotive 3087 30-05-06 Quinta Normal; steam, R type, former Northern Network, Rogers brand, USA
Locomotive 3045 30-05-06 Quinta Normal; steam, K type, former Northern Network, Borsig brand, Germany
Notes: * piece´s location is unknown. According to the respective decrees, piece should be accounted for
Source: Council of National Monuments, personal observation.

Locomotive No. 3, steam, Iquique Port,
Near a Shell gas station at the Iquique exit point towards Alto Hospicio; one of only two Nitrate Railways locomotives in existence
Nitrate Railways, Brand Avonside, Bristol, year 1902 Pozo Almonte; only one in Chile, rare design Baquedano; typical 1950s and 1960s passenger carrier modelutilzed by North Network
Locomotive No. 4, diesel traction, Iquique Port, EFE fleet Dt-3000 y Dt-3020, General Electric, year 1966 Baquedano
Diesel traction car engine ADI-1056, Schindler, Switzerland, year 1955
Ferronor offices, Coquimbo
Special carrier Est-8 Copiapó Station; very few saltpeter wagons left
Steam locomotive, model 0-6-2T, Brand Porter, USA, 1910 approx, found in the elements in Carrizal, likely to have been belonged and utilized by private saltpeter office Potrerillos; sole steam locomotive remaing from that train

Saltpeter wagons
Diego de Almagro; best conserved of its kind
Steam locomotive, model 2-8-2T, Brand Baldwin, No. 2 from FC de Potrerillos Diego de Almagro; 4 Railway connecting station
Station with adjacent facilities Copiapó Station Plaza
Steam locomotive, model 0-4-2, apparently of Scottish make, metric gauge Baquedano; locomotive No. 3557. President Juan Antonio Ríos was the conductor for a short distance
Tender car for locomotive type W, No. 3557, manufactured at Maestranza Central de San Bernardo in 1942 Baquedano; unique piece, seems to have been utilized as a mobile post office
Mail wagon, number BCW 8001 La Calera; connecting point for Norther Network and Railway between Santiago and Valparaíso
Northern Network Station Universidad de Atacama, Copiapó; most ancient towed piece in Chile
4 wooden wagons, 1 435 mm gauge, doublé axle, made in USA in the 1850s, originally belonged to Ferrocarril in Chañarcillo.  
Source: personal observation







These two wagons belonged to F.C. de Chañarcillo, and might still exist at Universidad de Atacama, but the locomotive is long gone. (Photo: Ian Thomson’s collection. Unknown photographer)