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Appendix 16

Rule book of the Southern Railway issued with effect from 15 July 1928

Rules relating specifically to the Neuquén line

Chapter VI
Instructions applicable to trains operating only on single lines

Art 137. Trains running on the Cipolletti to C. Cordero branch. –
Between Cipolletti and C. Cordero only one train at a time may run, except in exceptional circumstances, in which case the Controller may authorise one more; he and the Station Masters of the two stations must take appropriate precautions, and advise the engine drivers of them in writing.
NOTE: – This article will cease to have effect when signals and block working is introduced on to the branch.

Art. 138. Absolute block on single line.

A. Absolute block working, without exception, must be used on a single line bnight, and also by day, when there is mist, snow or storm.
B. Two light locomotives may not occupy one block section; absolute block applies to them, without exception.
C. Absolute block also applies by day, without exception, in both directions between:
Tolosa and La Plata Cargas.
Dorrego and Calvo.
Hinojo & Emp. Cerro Sotuyo & Emp. Cerro Sotruyo & Cerro Sotuyo.
Emp. Cerro Sotuyo and Sierras Bayas.
Peralta and S. de la Ventana.
S. de la Ventana and Sandugaray.

Neuquén and Cipolletti.
Médanos and Argerich.
Challacó and P. Huincul.
P. Huincul y R. M. Castro.
D. When there is an intermediate station, which is not a block post, between two stations, absolute block will be observed between them, for any train which is despatched after the other or any light engine which has to shunt at the intermediate one.
Nota No. 1 – When a train
Nota No. 2 – When a goods or mixed train inward bound at P. Huincul has to cross any train outward bound, it is necessary to be assured that one of them is already stopped in P. Huincul, before the other may be despatched from Challacó, or from R. M. Castro, as the case may be.

Note – On the Neuquén line, inward bound and outward bound are with reference to Bahía Blanca.

When a goods or mixed train outward bound at P. Huincul has to cross any train inward bound, the inward bound train may not be despatched from there if the outward bound train is not in the crossing loop and the turnout is set for the dead end, or if the outward bound train has already left, while the end of the said train has not cleared the escape siding.

Art. 139. Permissive block . –
A. On sections of single line, when it is daylight and there is no mist, snow or storm, the running of trains under permissible block, or train following train, is allowed. No train following another may be despatched until ten minutes have elapsed from the departure of the first one.
B. No goods, livestock or empty train may be despatched in front of a passenger one, unless it is expected to be able to clear the section without delaying the second one.
C. The train which follows an other in the same section must not approach nearer than one kilometre; but if the first calls for assistance, the second may approach up to making contact with it.
D. Express passenger trains between P. Constitución and Mar del Plata, known as Rápidos Diurnos, and similar which may be established, are subject to absolute block, by day as well, without exception.

Art. 140 Sections of single track where the permissive block is subject to restrictions.
In the sections mentioned below, permissible block is subject to the restrictions noted. The sections in which absolute block is required are noted as is the direction to which this applies.




Detrás de un tren…

Detrás de un tren de carga no debe despacharse ningún otro tren, ni tampoco una locomotora aislada.

B. Zorilla a Darwin

Ambas direcciones

Detrás de un tren de carga o de un tren mixto no debe despacharse ningún otro tren, ni tampoco una locomotora aislada.

Senillosa a Challacó


R. M. Castro a Zapala

Para afuera


Para afuera

Debe observarse block absoluto en esa dirección

Zapala a R. M. Castro

Para adentro

A los efectos de estas disposiciones, los trenes mixtos, coches motores, automóviles de vía y de encomiendas, se consideran como de pasajeros, los de ganado, vacíos y balastro, como trenes de carga y las máquinas con uno o dos furgones, como máquinas aisladas.

Art. 141. Escape sidings on the main line between Zapala and Challacó.-
A. On the main line between Zapala and Challacó, there are four escape sidings as a means of protection in case of a train's becoming split or an escape of vehicles. They are located thus:
1°. Near the inward bound starting signal at Zapala.
2°. Near the inward bound home signal at R. M. Castro.
3°. Near the inward bound home signal at P. Huincul.
4°. Near the inward bound home signal at Challacó.
Each turnout is interlocked with the signal.
B. The inward bound trains must come to a complete stop in front of each of these signals. Once the train is stationary, the engine driver will whistle, though when the signal is off, he may proceed when he sees the person in charge of the turnout give the appropriate hand signal.
C. It is necessary to avoid stopping outward bound trains on any of these turnouts, as should the train go backwards a derailment will occur.

Art. 143. Goods and livestock trains inbound from Zapala.
A. All inward bound goods or livestock trains, which leave Zapala with more than fifty axles, must apply the brakes of the four wagons nearest the engine from Zapala until stopped at the signal at Ramón M. Castro. Again these brakes will be applied from Kilometre 1323 and four poles to Kilometre 1313, and yet again from Kilometre 1303 to Challacó, where the are released permanently.
The train must stop at each point noted to apply or release the brakes as appropriate.
B. To avoid shortening the train during bad weather or when a strong wind is blowing, brakes on a greater number of wagons must be applied according to the engine driver's directions.
C. The speed of these trains, between the points mentioned must not exceed 40 kilometres per hour in good weather. If there is a strong wind in the direction of travel of the train, or it is bad weather, the speed must not exceed 30 kilometres per hour.
D. The maximum number of axles and weight of these trains is indicated in the appropriate table at the foot of which are remarks which are always relevant.
E. The vehicles making up the train should be firmly coupled with their central screws properly adjusted.

Chapter IX
Assisting locomotives

Art. 216. Locomotives pushing trains.
A. It is prohibited to push trains by the engine, if it is not shunting in stations or a ballast train; in case of accident or rescue; assisting a train starting from a station or climbing a gradient.
If ordered to assist a train by pushing
Sub-section D of article 216 is modified as follows:
When a train has an engine at its head and another pushing from the rear, the rear one should only be coupled to the train when the front one is incapable of movement on by its own means.
Except where there are separate auxiliary staffs, the engine assisting the train should be accompanied by a competent employee.
F. If, exceptionally, a train is pushed rather than pulled, the greatest care has to be taken and the whistle sounded frequently. The guard will travel in the leading vehicle to give signals to the driver, who must be prepared to stop the train at once.
In such emergencies the speed should not exceed 15 kilometres per hour.
G. Whenever it is necessary and there is an engine available, goods trains shall be assisted between:

Pigué to…

R. Colorado to Kilo 796

Inward bound

Darwin to Kilo 970

Inward bound


On asking for line clear, the despatching station advises the receiving one that the train will be pushed as far as the point specified; its number should be quoted.
H. Following giving the message «Train entering section», the station will telegraph the receiving one «Train . . . left at . . . assisted by pilot as far as kilometre . . . »; and once the pilot has returned, a new one should be sent quoting the reference of the first saying: «Pilot arrived back at . . . ».
Both stations records the time of departure and of returmn of the assisting engine in their Block Registers; the despatching station must also transmit the same information to the Controler.
Pigué, Río Colorado, Darwin and Tolosa should not send telegrams as indicated in this section as the use of the auxiliary staff makes it unnecessary.
I. The staff should not be placed in the apparatus nor should the signal «Train out of section» be sent, nor should line free
be sought or given while the train being assisted has not yet reached the station in advance and the assisting has returned to its starting point.
J. The assisting engine must not leave to return while its driver has not the secirity that the engine in charge of the train is doing so properly.
If on leaving the train, the assisting engine, everything is in order, the assistant guard will so signal the train guard who in his turn will advise the engine driver.
K. The previous rules should be observed no matter over what part of the line a locomotive pushes a train.

Chapter XIII
Formation of trains

Art. 239. Formation of mixed trains between Neuquén and Zapala.
A. The should be formed thus:
1°. Locomotive.
2°. Goods vehicles.
3°. Livestock vehicles.
4°. Van for local goods.
5°. Coaches.
6°. Van for parcels.
The guard will travel in one of the coaches and the parcels guard will travel in the tail-end van.
NOTE: Flammable and explosive goods are transported in goods trains.
B. The Station Masters at Neuquén and Zapala must personally ensure before departure, as must the guard and the parcels guard, that each van carries its complete equipment and that its brake is in good order. Any defect should be put right by the vehicle examiner before the train leaves.
C. In the brake van there should always be six chocks for use in case of uncoupling from the locomotive.
D. It is prohibited to uncouple the locomotive before the brakes of the vehicles have been applied and chocks placed against at least three of them.
On coupling-up the locomotive the guard must ensure that the chocks have been removed from the wagons and placed in the van and that the brakes have been released.

Art 240A. Brake vans on goods, livestock or empty trains between Neuquén y Zapala.
A. These trains should have two ballasted vans at their end; the guard should travel in the last one and the assistant guard in the one before, both should be ready to apply the brakes if requested by the engine driver.

Chapter XIV

Art. 288. Safety precautions for trains shunting at Choele-Choel, Kilo 1079 and Plaza Huincul.
A. Choele Choel, Kilo 1079 and P. Huincul are located on very steep gradients. Before uncoupling the locomotive from the train it is necessary to chock the last two vehicles if the train is facing uphill, or the first two if it is facing downhill.
The situation of the station is as follows:
Choele Choel facing downhill outward bound.
Kilo 1079 facing uphill outward bound.
P. Huincul facing uphill outward bound.
B. When facing uphill, and the assistant guard becomes aware that the locomotive is to be uncoupled for shunting, the guard shall give the driver two short whistles. When the assistant guard has placed the chocks against the vehicles he will communicate this to the guard by displaying a yellow and black flag by day or a green light by night and only then may uncouple the locomotive.
When the time has come to remove the chocks, the fact that they have been removed should be conveyed to the guard in the same way.
C. Under no pretext may the assistant guard leave the end of the train if he is at one of the stations mentioned.
D. When the train is facing downhill, it will be the head guard of the train who places the chocks under the wagons.
E. It is prohibited to shunt at Choele Choel, Kilo 1079 and P. Huincul with wagons not attached to the locomotive.


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the FCE broad gauge lines

Main pages


Along the route



Rolling stock

Over the Andes?


The potash line

Extension fom Cinco Saltos?


1 Itinerary of route

2 Loco list

3 Irrigation map

4 Rögind chapter 25

5 Rögind chapter 30

6 Rögind chapter 49

7 Rögind chapter 55

8 Rögind chapter 56A

9 Rögind chapter 56B

10 Coleman chapter 2

11 Coleman chapter 3

12 Coleman chapter 5

13 Map of FCS system

14 1955 public timetable

15 Modern photos

16 FCS rulebook extracts

17 Wagon diagrams

18 Press articles

19 Potash line decrees

20 Fruit train timetable

21 Trasandino decree

22 Automatic couplings

23 Railmotor specification

24 Southern Transandine agreement

Chapter 3

The BAGSR's route to Neuquén


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