Potosi-Sucre-Tarabuco/FCB 2-8-0 Locomotives in Bolivia

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class 1 (Locobase 21086)

Data from FC CC de Bolivia 1958 Locomotive Diagrams, supplied in August 2022 by Allen Stanley from his extensive Railroad Data Exchange collection; and Martin Coombs, Bolivian steam locomotive list (October 2020), downloaded from []), p. 35. See also "Dive into Bolivia's colonial past in Potosi, Sucre and Tarabuco" on TerraBolivia at [], last accessed 18 August 2022. Works numbers were 2806 in 1918, 2993 in 1919.

The Bolivian Railway laid out a branch line from Mulatos to Potosi beginning in 1916. This pair of small Consolidations were delivered to the line in 1918-1919. Progress on the branch proved leisurely, the next 154 km (96 miles) heading east then north only reaching Sucre in 1935. Although further construction reportedly laid rails south and east about 60 km (37 miles) to Tarabuco, wrote Coombs, that segment never formally opened.

TerraBolivia describes the three cities as "evocative of Bolivia's rich colonial past." Potosi's fame reaches far back to when it was "the most populous city in the world at the peak of its prosperity, when silver was extracted from the bowels of the 'Cerro Rico' mines to feed 16th century European capitalism."

Sucre was the first capital of Bolivia in the 1820s, but in the 21st century "today looks like a quiet provincial city. Its architectural wealth is unequalled; here, no skyscraper disturbs the harmony of the sun-bleached stones, nor the careful zigzag of the red rooftops, nor the clear, sober lines of the city´s many bell-towers."

Yamapara Incans originally established Tarabuco as a defensive town to prevent incursions by Chiriguanos Indians from the south. It was also the site of an indigenous victory against the Spanish in 1816.

Parts of the PST #5 were still visible at the Sucre shops in 2008. 6 was deemed worthy of taking ENFE #601 in 1965.

NB: The evaporative heating surface area given in the 1958 diagram matches the tube heating surface area (1,184 sq ft/104 sq m) only. Locobase added the firebox heating surface area shown in the diagram to achieve consistency with most other such calculations.)

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID21086
Number in Class2
Road Numbers1-2/5-6/601
Number Built2
BuilderVulcan Iron Works
Valve GearWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m)12.04 / 3.67
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m)18.73 / 5.71
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase 0.64
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m)42.16 / 12.85
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)97,003 / 44,000
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)108,026 / 49,000
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)46,738 / 21,200
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)154,764 / 70,200
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)6336 / 24
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT)2378 / 9000.70
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)40 / 20
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)40.60 / 1031
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)145 / 10
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)15.98" x 21.81" / 406x554
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)16,907 / 7668.90
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 5.74
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)141 - 2.008" / 51
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)15.98 / 4.87
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)64.58 / 6
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)19.05 / 1.77
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1249 / 116
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)1249 / 116
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume246.70
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation2762
Same as above plus superheater percentage2762
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area9364
Power L13046
Power MT276.91

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