Trasandino Chileno 0-6-0 Locomotives in Chile

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class Jose Manuel Balmaceda (Locobase 20294)

Data from P C Dewhurst, "Locomotive Practice of the Chilian Transandine [sic]", Locomotive Magazine, Volume 20 (15 June 1914), pp. 161-169 (data on p. 169), Works numbers were 2140-2141 in 1889.

Juan and Mateo Clark, Chileans born of British parents, secured the original charter for ths this railway in 1874, but couldn't actually begin building in 1887 (on the Argentine end at Mendoza). While construction west to Upsallata in 1891 and Las Cuevas in April 1903, the Chilean section made a false start in 1889 but stalled at Salto del Soldado.

Meanwhile, railway ownership was reorganized and control passed to the Transandine Construction Company in 1902, which was jointly held by the governments of Argentina and Chile. The Chilean Transandine which measured 70.55 km (43.8 miles), resumed construction and opened the line from Santa Rosa de Los Andes to Juncal in 1906.

The 248 km (l154 mile) line closed the final gap in the longer route from Valparaiso, Chile to Buenos Aires, Argentina, which now comprised 1,442 km (895 miles).

Dewhurst emphasized the impact of the severe operating profile on the Chilean section on locomotive design. First, the line rose 2,370 metres (7,776 feet or 1.4 miles) from Los Andes to the Summit Tunnel. But if one subdivides the parts, the first half (34 km/21 miles) rose on a ruling grade of 2.4%, a slope manageable by standard adhesion traction. The chief impediment to speed was the tight curves.

The second half, however, rose at about 2.3 times the average grade of the first and at times reached 8%.. So the Abt rack traction came into play on about 60% of the second section or 22 km (13.7 miles) of 36.5 km (22.67 miles). Rack-train speeds were limited to about 10 kph (6 mph). Many of the Transandine's locomotives combined rack and adhesion power under the same boiler, as is explained in later Locobase entries.

This first pair (the second of the two bearing the name Vicuna Mackenna) worked the Los Andes-Rio Blanco section although the 1 also served the construction company completing the Summit tunnel. They were small tanks with Belpaire fireboxes and coal bins ahead of the cabs in the side tanks.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

ClassJose Manuel Balmaceda
Locobase ID20294
RailroadTrasandino Chileno
Number in Class2
Road Numbers1-2
Number Built2
BuilderHawthorn Leslie
Valve GearWalschaert
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m) 9.50 / 2.90
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m) 9.50 / 2.90
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase1
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m) 9.50 / 2.90
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)62,720 / 28,449
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)62,720 / 28,449
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)62,720 / 28,449
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)540 / 2.05
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT) 1.10 / 1
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)35 / 17.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)39 / 991
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)150 / 10.30
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)14.5" x 20" / 368x508
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)13,747 / 6235.54
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.56
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)137 - 1.875" / 48
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)8 / 2.44
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)76 / 7.06
Grate Area (sq ft / m2)12.50 / 1.16
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)617 / 57.32
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)617 / 57.32
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume161.41
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation1875
Same as above plus superheater percentage1875
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area11,400
Power L12543
Power MT268.16

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