Chronology of proposed Patagonian public railways, including the 'Trans-Patagonico'
There were literally dozens of proposals for railways in Argentine Patagonia, and several more in the relevant parts of Chile. The following references, mainly from The Review of the River Plate and the South American Journal, illustrate the variety of schemes proposed. A number of proposals in Santa Cruz, Tierra del Fuego and Magallanes have been added from other sources.
Only those references relating to proposals for new public lines or progress in construction have been included, not references to new equipment or to railway operation. They have been set out more or less in chronological order and each has been given a number so that the progress of each proposal can be followed more easily. As each new proposal is first mentioned the paragraph is highlighted in bold. The numbering system is inevitably rather arbitrary, as it has not always been easy to distinguish between similar proposals but by different promoters. Railways wholly outwith the area of study have not been numbered.
Those proposals which have never yet got to the stage of construction have been coloured in red.
3 A concession was granted to an unknown applicant for a 45km railway from San Blas Bay, presumably to Carmen de Patagones. (SAmJ).
5 Messrs MacPhail and Co. are petitioning Congress for a railway from Bahia Blanca to Choele-Choel, thence via Villa General Roca to Chos Malal (RotRP June 29 1895 p21).
6A The FC Sud proposes to extend from Bahia Blanca to Neuquen, into territory which Chile is said to covet (RotRP August 10, p9). This was followed by a big article on the proposed line, and an extension to Chile was already being mooted (RotRP August 12 1895 p8-9).
6B Two alternative schemes for a railway to Neuquen were mentioned (RotRP September 21 1895 p18).
10 A señor Cantón who was a member of the senate (diputado) presented a scheme to link existing and proposed railways in Neuquen, Rio Negro, Chubut and Santa Cruz together and to Bahia Blanca. Colonization, and agricultural and mineral exploitation were behind this, with a view to creating prosperous towns at the various resource sites. (Source: originally the papers of Diputado Cantón in the Ministry of Public Works, apparently quoted in Horacio Lafuente's book 'La Chocolatería' published by Floridablanca, BsAs 1996, and in turn quoted in the webpage at <www.oni.escuelas.edu.ar/2002/santa_cruz/historiadelferrocarril.htm>)
9C One and a half page article about the proposed FCS line to Neuquen (RotRP December 11 1897 p4).
11 The reconstruction of the 1869 coal tramway at Punta Arenas to become the FC Mina Loreto was begun during this year.
1D The Chubut Central Railway has signed a contract with the government for a further prolongation of 50 km towards the cordillera (RotRP August 18 1900 p15).
14 There are three routes which the projected light military railway can take from Neuquen. One by the Anelo road, another by the Zapala, and a third by the Limay passing through Las Lajas and Nouquin and on to Chos Malal the terminus. The Zapala route is the best, although the longest, as the cost of construction would be less (RotRP December 22 1900 p15).
19 The national government proposes the construction of a railway from Neuquen to Las Lajas in Chile. On the FCS indicating its willingness to undertake such a route the government proposal is withdrawn.
20A Magallanes, Chile. The Comisión de Alcaldes considered building a railway from Punta Arenas to the Ultima Esperanza area around Puerto Natales. At this time there was a lot of interest in the development of Ultima Esperanza.
21 Señor Andres Arentsen proposed a 400km line from Punta Arenas north westward as far as the Seno Falcón well byond Ultima Esperanza. This seemed to ignore the icecap and glaciers obstructing some of the more northerly parts of the route! (reported in Martinic 2005).
XX As a condition of Frank Lumley, Guillermo Jones and José Campelo being granted a lease on 133,000 hectares of land in the Renihué, Yelcho, Corcovado and Palena valleys (Aysén area of Chile), they are required to construct a railway towards the frontier with Argentina. (Decreto Supremo 736 of 22nd December 1903, reported in Martinic 2005 - De la trapananda del Aysén.)
23 The Chilean government was studying plans for a Transandine line through Antuco, Monte de Aquila, across Lago Las Lajas by ferry, thence to Trinquico and Chos Malal to join the FCS. The route was to be electrified (SAmJ September 17 1904 p286).
24 The government of Chile approved a railway scheme promoted by Mr. George Heuisler, for a 75cm gauge line from Puerto Yates on the Reloncavi Sound east of Puerto Montt, up the south bank of the River Puelo to Colonia Nueva around El Bolson in Argentina. Five bridges were involved and the project was to be finished in two years. ( SAmJ October 15 1904 p399). One wonders what the Argentine government's attitude to this would have been.
26 A petition by Señor Santiago Buralovich for the construction of narrow gauge (1m?) lines, to start between Junin and Pergamino (sic. ??) and run to Bahia Blanca and Carmen do Patagones. (RotRP July 7 1905 p11).
27 Sr. Luis Coenaja applied to Congress for a concession for a line from Puerto Madryn up the Chubut valley to Colonia 16 de octubre near the Andes (RotRP July 21 1905 p123).
28A Projects presented to Congress included one by Messrs Esquivel and Co. for a line from Port San Antonio to Chos Malal (RotRP July 28 1905 p180).
In August The Review of the River Plate commented that "If only half the railways are built in the Neuquen Territory for which concessions have been asked, that part of the republic will soon be in a flourishing condition. During the previous two months concessions had been applied for as follows:
34A Messrs. A Madero and Co. proposed to construct and work a line from San Antonio north to Villa Mercedes right up in San Luis province, plus a new port at San Antonio. The proposals had been favourably commented on by the Public Works Committee. The above concession was later granted and the route was more closely specified as running north for 70km from San Antonio, then parallel to the Rio Negro, crossing it west of Choele-Choel Island, thence north through Alvear, Medano Colorado, to Mercedes, and with a branch from San Antonio to Bahia Blanca. The port concession was to last for 50 years. (RotRP August 25 1905 p411, October 6 p743).
35 Magallanes, Chile. A line from Morro Chico down to the coast of the Seño Skyring at Rio Verde was suggested in connection with gold mining speculation.
36 Señors Aurelio Ruiz and Jorge Dorzo were granted a concession on Isla Wellington in the Chilean archipelago. They proposed a 100km railway, presumably for logging purposes, though Martinic suggests this was probably more to impress the far away authorities! (reported in Martinic 2005)
41 Teodoro de Bary asks for a concession for a line from San Antonio to Lake Nahuel Huapi (RotRP June 8 1906 p1341).
42 Mr. Alfred J. Dickinson has applied to Congress for a concession for a line from Puerto Deseado to the Andes near Lake Nahuel Huapi. For each kilometre he asks for a bonus of 2500 hectares of fiscal lands on both sides of the line (RotRP July 6 1906 p13).
43A Señor Luis L. Esquivel (see no. 24 above ) was petitioning for the right to construct a line from Buenos Aires to San Antonio with branches to Ayacucho, Bahia Blanca, Puerto Militar, Mar del Plata and the capital of Rio Negro. (SAmJ Sept 1 1906 p222, and RotRP August 3 1906 p291).
The Great Southern applied for a concession to construct a number of lines including the following:
46 Messrs Sigifredo Nathan had also sought a concession for the line to Chile but the FCS proposal was preferentially submitted to congress in August of this year.
1E The representative of the Central Chubut Railway has applied to Congress for leave to extend their line from Trelew to Paso de los Indios in the Chubut Territory (RotRP September 14 1906 p655).
34B The Senate was reported to have sanctioned concessions for a number of lines including that proposed by Señor Madero (See above). This was for a line from San Antonio to Villa Mercedes, with the modification of a branch to be built from his Km 65 east to the 5th meridian (?) and then to Bahia Blanca. (RotRP September 28 1906 p791).
In October the following railway projects were reportedly to be treated (amongst others) during forthcoming special sessions of Congress:
The Public Works Committee of the Senate presented a report on the petition of the Great Southern to construct various branches including:
The Senate was reported as holding over the following railway proposals until the ordinary sessions in 1907:
52 In the Aysén area of Chile, Messrs Frank Lumley, José Campelo and Guilermo Jones obtained a concession to work a large area for sheep and timber as the Sociedad Ganadera e Industrial Yelcho-Palena. They proposed to build a railway from the coast of the Golfo de Corcovado to the Argentine border.
53 Pyñeiro, Sorondo y Cia. proposed opening up Argentina's Santa Cruz province by building a railway from Rio Gallegos to Lago Argentino.
44C Law approved (no. 5535) including permission for BAGS/FCS to extend their Neuquen line to Longuimay or Pino Hachado on the Chilean frontier. (RotRP June 12 1908)
55 An engineer Debenedetti was instructed (by the Ministry of Public Works?) to survey for a possible port at Bustamante near Comodoro Rivadavia. (SAmJ December 4 1909 p628).
37D The state railway line from San Antonio towards Lake Nahuel Huapi is now under construction, making good progress and expected to reach Valcheta by January 1910. Several new moles/muelles have been constructed at San Antonio. (SAmJ December 11 1909 p654).
Perito Moreno, a member of the senate well known for his explorations in Patagonia, suggested four railways to be constructed in an extension of the Law 5559 state railway proposals. These were to be:
38-40D Government approves plans for the third section of the line from Puerto Deseado to Lake Buenos Aires - Km240-Km320 where it will join the line from San Antonio to Lake Nahuel Huapi (sic) (RotRP June 2 1911 p1445). The reference to a junction was more likely to be with the line from Comodoro Rivadavia.
On the FCE lines under construction, the rails have reached:
38F The plans for the FCE route from Comodoro Rivadavia to Lago Buenos Aires have been amended to save money. (RotRP June 23 1911 p1649).
64 Señor Ludovico van Platen asked for a concession from Punta Loyola to Rio Vizcacha in Chile, but it was not confirmed. (Source <www.oni.escuelas.edu.ar/2002/santa_cruz/historiadelferrocarril.htm>).
The Chilean state railways main north-south route has been completed through to Puerto Montt. (RotRP October 20 1911 p1017).
39F The Puerto Deseado FCE line was opened to Km 200 on 27th November. (RotRP December 1 1911 p1395).
66 Mr. Bailey Willis's report on possible routes for a rail link between Lake Nahuel Huapi (Bariloche) and Chile, has been received by the Ministry of Public Works. (RotRP Mar 29 1912 p 722).
37F The FCE line from San Antonio to Lake Nahuel Huapi is now open to Km 326 (halfway). Work is in progress to Km 380, and there is then a level valley for 100km. The line may be complete to Bariloche within two years (RotRP March 8 1912 p593, March 22(?) 1912 p722)
67 The Chilean state railway engineers' department have received the Ancud-Castro line from the contractors (RotRP April 12 1912 p913).
37G Rails on the Lake Nahuel Huapi line have reached Km 340, and earthworks to Km 380. Work is about to be suspended for the winter. (RotRP May 3 1912 p1105).
Construction of FCE lines is more or less at a standstill owing to lack of funds. The new lines are to be cut short at:
45D The first 102km of the Bahia Blanca - Patagones line will be opened on September 1. (RotRP August 30 1912 p531).
6D, 44E The Great Southern line to Neuquen should be complete to Zapala by the end of the year (RotRP Sptember 6 1912 p595).
The new FCE lines have rails laid as far as:
37J, 38I & 39I The Farquhar syndicate (established railway investors in the north of the country) have offered to buy the new FCE lines, ands a French company has offered to complete the FCE lines (RotRP December 6 p1427). Another project to complete the FCE routes was also mentioned (RotRP December 13 1912 p1561).
1L The government has approved plans and details for a branch line of 34 1/2 km to be built by the Central Chubut Railway, in accordance with the concession of last November (RotRP February 21 1913 p471). This is confusing, for the extension to Dolavon was only of 19km and there had been no mention of the concession being granted in the reports (above) in late 1912.
6E, 44F The extension of the Great Southern Railway 'to Chile' is being pushed ahead. Rails have been laid to Km136 and earthworks are in progress to Km158 (RotRP February 28 1913 p533).
45D The Bahia Blanca to Patagones line will reach Km163 by the end of July. This will be a very valuable feeder for the company (RotRP June 27 1913 p1619).
63B Deputies have approved a bill granting a concession to Mr. Norberto Cobos for the construction and working of the following lines:
25D The Public Works Committee of the Senate have reported on the following bills (including): Prorogue (extension of time) to F. Mulhall for constructing a line from San Blas to Choele-Choel, with a wharf at Carmen de Patagones. (RotRP September 19 1913 p731).
69A The Compania Mercantil del Chubut (a co-operative of Chubut valley farmers) have nearly completed surveys for a railway from the mouth of the river Chubut to the mouth of the Zanja. The inhabitants are of the opinion that the goverment should assist the company; all works within the valley have been done without government assistance up until this point (RotRP September 26 1913 p795).
55F The Public Works Committee of the Deputies have reported favourably on the bill received from the Senate granting a concession to F. Doll and Co. for the construction and working of the following lines:
63C The Public Works Committee of the Deputies have commented favourably on the bill in revision for Mr. N. Cobos to build and work various railways in Santa Cruz Territory. (RotRP September 26 1913 p795).
6F The Great Southern Railway's extension to Chile is now at Km 156 (Ramon Castro) (RotRP October 16 1913 p925).
37K The earthworks of the state railways line to Lake Nahuel Huapi are now complete to Maquinchao (Km 392) (RotRP October 16 1913 p927).
69B The Soc. Anon. Co-operativa y Cia. Mercantil Chubut have applied to Congress for a concession in the Chubut valley. For a railway 100km in length from the mouth of the Chubut to Toma de la Zanja. The owners will be the colonists in the valley. (RotRP October 16 1913 p927).
37L The Rio Negro Company annual report explains that the state railway to Lake Nahuel Huapi nows runs through the company's territory. Negotiations are in progress for a private siding, and a township may be built at Mari Laufquen station. (RotRp November 28 1913 p1371).
6G, 44G The Great Southern Company has applied to the Railway Department for permission to open the Neuquen extension line as far as Zapala, 176km from Neuquén. (RotRP December 19 1913 p1571).
The Government Railways Board have reported to the Min. of Public Works on the present position of the national railway lines:
38K The line of the state railway from Comodoro Rivadavia to Col. Sarmiento was opened to public services on May 25. A special train covered the 200km in five hours (RotRP May 29 1914 p1361).
The Ministry of the Interior are studying a project for a service of motor wagons for cargo transport in the National Territories, in Misiones, and also from Cholila and Crumayo (Patagonia) to Maganichao (Maquinchao?), the current terminal of the San Antonio to Lake Nahuel Huapi line). The geological formation of the soil in Patagonia is said to be favourable to this means of transport (RotRP June 5 1914 p1423).
1M The Ministries of Public Works and Agriculture have under consideration a proposal by the Central Chubut Railway Co. for an extension to its lines. A modification of a former proposal by which it undertook to prolong its lines to 250km to Paso del Indio, in exchange for cession to the company by the government of 400 sq. leagues of land. Negotiations on this basis did not mature, the present proposal asks that the land be leased to it with an option of definite purchase later on (RotRP July 14 1914 p215).
63D Señor Norberto B. Cobos has presented a petition to Congress asking for authority to construct and exploit a railway (all details as in 1913 above). The foregoing concession has already been studied and approved by both Chambers of Congress but not converted into law owing to the Chamber of Deputies not having had time to despatch a modification introduced into it by the Senate. This is the motive for the repetition of the petition (RotRP July 31 1914 p277).
The outbreak of the Great War in early August clearly had a devastating effect on railway proposals even this far away: South American economies were hit hard by escalating coal prices, lack of contact with distracted British and European investors and suppliers, and a general uncertainty. Whilst the state railways had already run out of money for extensions, there is a drastic reduction in the number of other schemes proposed or progressed during the subsequent five years (RotRP July 31 1914 p277).
37N A government decree of 12th October authorises the constructors of the Diamante to Curuzu Cuatia railway to transfer to the San Antonio - Lake Nahuel Huapi railway 50km of rails for the sum of $160,000m/n (RotRP October 23 1914 p963).
38L & 39KDecree issued authorising the Directorate General of Railways to hand over to the State Railways the recently completed lines from Comodoro Rivadavia and from Puerto Deseado. A separate report stated that the Administrator General of the State Railways had appointed a commission to take over the lines mentioned above. With the inclusion of these new lines, the State Railways' system now had an approximate length of 5500km, of which 600km were of broad gauge. (RotRP October 30 1914 p1022).
The question of the incorporation (sic) of the state railway lines (including):
20B Señor Juan Enrique Precht was writing in the Chilean papers La Unión and El Mercurio suggesting that it was time to build a railway from Ultima Esperanza down to Punta Arenas, for the sake of general progress but also to affirm Chilean sovereignty in the area. (Martinic 2005)
1N The Central Chubut Railway has been authorised to construct provisional passenger stations and goods sheds at kms. 103 and 144.63 (RotRP February 19 1915 p402). These locations correspond to Dolavon and Campamento Villegas. The latter place was well beyond that route for which a concession had been granted, and indeed was not reached until the 1920s after the state takeover, so someone was ahead of the game.
The Ministry of the Interior has formulated regulations and established tariffs for an automobile service in the Territories of Neuquen, Rio Negro and Chubut:
38N A series of articles on the southern territories were appearing in La Prensa in the early part of the year. Comments on the Comodoro Rivadavia line to Col. Sarmiento were reproduced in The Review of the River Plate in detail: In particular there was a recommendation that the road from Col. Sarmiento north-westward to Col. 16 de octubre and Col. San Martin be improved from its present 'intransitable' state. At present the road could only be used to reach the railway by following a 36 league loop to the station at Km. 110 (later known as Cañadon Lagarto). This meant that the upper 20 leagues of the railway were unused. The suggestion was that the expenditure of $180,000m/n on the direct road to Col. Sarmiento would result in a 40% increase in traffic revenue on the railway. (RotRP April 23 1915 p907).
1O Representatives of the Central Chubut Railway have visited the Ministry of Public Works with regard to the construction of a (road) bridge across the Chubut river at an estimated cost of $90,000m/n. The railway is willing to build this bridge in collaboration with the inhabitants of the territory, provided that the National Government would contribute $20,000m/n towards the cost. Dr. Moyano is taking up the question with the Ministries of Finance and Agriculture before giving a definite reply. (RotRP October 1 1915 po751). The bridge proposed was at Dolavon and would greatly ease the access to the railway from the upper valley.
1P The Central Chubut Railway were authorised by the Min. of Public Works to open the 'branch line' from Km. 70 to Km. 104.633 (RotRP October 15 1915 p863). This was the extension from Gaiman to Valle Superieur or Dolavon.
The Administrator General of the State Railways complains to the Min. of Finance that Puerto Madryn being a free port puts San Antonio at a disadvantage and prejudices the traffic of the San Antonio railway. The Min. of Finance accepts the justice of the complaint and is considering the matter (RotRP June 2 1916 p1211).
From June onwards until mid 1918, the weekly income of each State Railways line in Patagonia was published in The Review of the River Plate.
70 A report from the Menendez Behety company sets out their proposals for a frigorifico on the south side of the Rio Grande at its mouth on the Atlantic coast of Tierra del Fuego. (RotRP November 10 1916 p1065). Whilst there was no mention of any railway, this plant did in fact result in the construction of two lines - the metre gauge one from Estancia Primera Argentina and the 60cm network within the works itself.
The new road bridge (at the terminus of the) Central Railway of Chubut has been authorised by the government. (RotRP April 6 1917 p159b).
71B The manager of the State Railway at San Antonio has returned from the 'Marten' area where an important coal mine has been discovered - 300km from the nearest station. (RotRP April 13 1917 p813). This may be the coal deposit mentioned above at Lake San Martin; it would be just about 300km from Las Heras station on the Puerto Deseado line.
72A A report in La Nacion on coal in San Julian is quoted. A naval lieutenant, M. Cacavelos investigated the deposits. At present transport to the shore is by lorry, to be replaced by a Decauville line carrying 200 tons per day. (RotRP June 22 1917 p1391). No precise location was given, but this is probably what later became the Mina Cabo Curioso on the coast north of San Julian. All sorts of coal deposits were being explored during the war because of the difficulty of getting good quality British coal.
20C Senator Luis Claro Solar was pushing the merits of a Punta Arenas to Ultima Esperanza railway. At the end of July the Congreso Nacional considered a motion to grant a concession for such a project. The motion was passed to the Commission for industries and public works, who returned it to the Congress with recommendations that it be passed. After much debate about the funding of the project, it was passed to the upper chamber but got no further. (Much detail in Martinic 2005)
The General Board of Hydraulic Works has submitted to the Min. of Public Works three alternative projects for the port of Comodoro Rivadavia. The largest of the three schemes has been recommended. This will involve the construction of a muelle of 100m x 12m, and with a minimum 3m depth of water. The necessary stone will be available on the State Railways route from Comodoro Rivadavia (RotRP February 7 1919 p363).
Progress in prospecting for coal deposits at Epuyen in Neuquen province. Two British companies are apparently interested in exploiting the deposits. (RotRP May 6 p1193).
Resumption of customs duties south of latitude 42 will hit industry hard. (RotRP Sept 26 p 831).
140 union members in Trelew imprisoned on charges of extortion. No disorder but most businesses closed. (RotRP December 19 p 1607.)
63E Mauricio Braun and Alejandro Cobos, working as the Compañia Ferrocarrilera de la Patagonia Austral, revived N. Cobos' proposals for a line from Rio Gallegos to Lago Argentino and also suggested branches to run to Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales.
73 The last proposal frightened the businesses of Punta Arenas, who Considered that their shipping routes would suffer and that trade would be lost to Rio Gallegos. They counter-attacked with a proposed railway up to the Ultima Esperanza area. This would have run via Cabeza del Mar, Laguna Blanca, Morro Chico, Chorillo de los Alambres, Llanuras de Diana, between lakes Balmaceda and Diana, to Puerto Natales and on to Cerro Castillo - a total of 325 km. Mateo Martinic suggests that a formal survey was made as far as Cabeza del Mar, but that the 'Captains' of the great Punta Arenas business houses disliked the proposed route along the coast, considering it too vulnerable in time of war. (Martinic ???? & 2005)
XX The Anglo-Chilean Pastoral Company's concessions in the Rio Cisnes area of Aysén province were taken over at this time by a Señor John Dun, who promised amongst other things to present plans for a railway from Puerto Chacabuco to the Argentine frontier. (Source: p158 of M. Martinic's book De la Trapananda al Aysén.)
Señor Beschtedt appointed to be Administrator of the FFCC del Estado. There were protests on the grounds that Señor Beschtedt had never held public office and had no technical knowledge of railways. However, he claimed that he would therefore be free of prejudice and unbiased. When asked about future extensions to the FCE system he replies in the affirmative but mentions only the northern route from Salta to Antofagasta and the desirability of direct FCE access to Buenos Aires. (RotRP August 13 p445, Sept 10 p 707, Sept 17 p 753).
Ministry of Public Works calling for tenders for harbour works at Comodoro Rivadavia - a breakwater and a muelle for the loading of oil. total cost $1.700.000m/n. (RotRP Sept 10 p707).
Agreement reached for the FC Sud to take over and complete the BAP's line from Bahía Blanca south towards Patagones. The finances to be settled over several years. Construction work from Stroeder already restarted. (RotRP Oct 23 p1089).
74 The technical departments of the Ministry of Public Works are engaged on a study of proposed new railway lines in the national territories (eg Santa Cruz). The lines projected in Santa Cruz would run from Puerto Gallegos for 135km to the Chilian frontier in the direction of Punta Arenas, and with a branch to connect to the Puerto Deseado railway. (RotRP November 5 p1219).
75 Another project presented by a Buenos Aires firm is for a narrow gauge line from San Julian to Hospitaleche (?), thence with three branches to Lago Argentino, to Lago Buenos Aires, and to the boundary between fractions A & B of Section Xll. The applicat also wishes to connect to the Puerto Deseado railway. (RotRP November 5 p1219).
Strikes, bombs etc. in Santa Cruz. FCCC staff have joined the strike in Chubut. (RotRP December 10 p 1561 and1563).
45F Direct trains introduced from Buenos Aires to Stroeder. 68km still to be completed. FC Sud takes over at the end of the year.
76 Petroleum from Comodoro Rivadavia is to be supplied to the Puerto Deseado line by motor wagon between Holdich (on the Sarmiento line) and Las Heras. Later a Decauville line between the two stations may be constructed. (RotRP July 29 1921 p301)
The government plans three extensions to the FCE lines:
78A-79A Announcement of 1000km network of light railways (75cm gauge) for southern territories. Señor Bechsted, the Adminstrator of the FCE gave further details: 'Decauville' lines from terminals of state railways to areas producing wool and other pastoral products, based on systems giving very good results in North America and in Bolivia. Estancieros to pay 'clips of flocks for three years' to pay for construction traversing their properties. Comodoro Rivadavia oil to be used as fuel, and lines will distribute oil throughout the area to promote industrial enterprises. (RotRP October 21 1921 p1049, p1053-4, and p1072).
45H More explanation of transfer of Patagones line to FCS. Originally owned by Bahia Blanca and North Western Railway but part funded by Buenos Aires and Pacific and originally operated by them. Concession was originally a joint one. (RotRP November 11, and November 18 1921 p1330).
80 New muelle to be built at San Antonio Este to permit import of new equipment for narrow gauge network, and 44km of line needed to link this with San Antonio Oeste. (RotRP November 18 1921 p1329).
78B Deputation from Chubut received by President of Republic. Petition signed by 500 businesses and landowners. Petitioners suggest that Puerto Madryn should be the start of a state railway line and that the FCCC should be taken over. The President assured the deputation that the government would shortly undertake construction of such a line. "It is not entirely surprising therefore, to learn that the deputation left the presidential presence extremely pleased." (RotRP December 30 1921 p1709).
37Q News of renewed work west of Km 448 on the line to Bariloche. (RotRP December 30 1921 p1732).
44J Administrator of FCE visited Neuquen to see the projected Trans-Andean route (RotRP January 27 1922).
State railway engineers off to Puerto Madryn to survey the proposed light railways. Another group is already at Colonia 16 de octubre.
81A A decision has been made to build a branch from the regauged FCCC to Rawson. (RotRP June 2 1922).
Inspeccion General de Puertos en el Atlantico have been instructed to start preliminary works for a new port at Comodoro Rivadavia. (RotRP July 1922).
81B On Thursday 22 March the first locomotive arrived in Rawson. (RotRP March 30 1923 p785).
77B The line from San Antonio to Viedma had now reached Km 196. (RotRP August 171923 ).
82A line was proposed (by Señor Aramburu?) to link Comodoro Rivadavia with the FC Sud. (Source: <www.oni.escuelas.edu.ar/2002/santa_cruz/historiadelferrocarril.htm>).
A bill has been put forward for Congress empowering the FCE to build or continue to build a number of new lines, including:
Increasing concern at mismanagement of FCE. Señor Beschtedt resigns in September. (RotRP September 26 1924 p813-7, October 3 1924 p993-7, and October 17 1924).
Whole page article on mismanagement of FCE. (RotRP April 24 1925 p47).
Report by Señor Enrique Perez, Administrator General of the FFCC del Estado on the railways being built in (Argentine) Patagonia.
84 Magallanes, Chile. Señor Enrique Rothenburg, the holder of the mining rights up in the Sierra Baguales northeast of the Torres del Paine, proposed a railway from there to Puerto Natales to get the coal deposits out. However, exploitation of the coal proved to be uneconomic.
Article about FCS building line from Dolores to Ajo up in Buenos Aires province; FCE counter with a proposal for a 75cm gauge line, presumably to try and use up the surplus stock. (RotRP September 17 1926 p19).
86A Residents of lower Rio Negro valley still trying to get FCS interested in line from Patagones to Choele-Choel. (RotRP April 22 1927 p29).
87 Ministry of Public Works are studying the possibility of a 75cm gauge line from Fuerte General Roca to Maquinchao on the Bariloche route.
88 "The Ministry of Public Works has authorised the management of the state railways to hand over to the Ministry of Marine for the extension of the Puerto Belgrano strategic railway, 50kms of permanent way of 0.75m gauge from the existing stock at Puerto Madryn. (RotRP June 10 1927 p33). It has since been suggested that this was really for the proposed line from Rio Grande to Tolhuin in Tierra del Fuego which at the time was administered by the Navy. See reference in 1947.
77E Contract signed for the building of the Viedma - Patagones bridge. (RotRP June 24 1927 p31).
37T Only 60km to go to reach Bariloche. (RotRP July 29 1927).
86B FCS proposes line from Choele-Choel to Patagones. To be presented to Congress. (RotRP August 19 1927).
89 Diputado Guillermo Fonrouge proposed a broad gauge line down the cordillera (presumably from Lago Nahuel Huapi to the Comodoro Rivadavia line at Col. Sarmiento), thence a link from Holdich to Las Heras, from Pto Deseado onwards to San Julian, and finally down the old Route 3 road to Rio Gallegos. (Source: <www.oni.escuelas.edu.ar/2002/santa_cruz/historiadelferrocarril.htm>).
90 Hilarion Lenzi is supposed to have put forward a proposal for a line from Rio Gallegos to Rio Turbio and Lago Argentino, similar to that proposed by Senor Cobos. However, this did not get as far as Congress. (Source: <www.oni.escuelas.edu.ar/2002/santa_cruz/historiadelferrocarril.htm>).
44K Preparations have been made for the immediate commencement of works on the Raices tunnel of the railway via Lonquimay between Argentina and Chile. The length will be 4545m. (RotRp December 20 1929p37).
86D Chamber of Deputies to consider an FCS concession for a line from Darwin via Choele-Choel to Patagones. The Senate is already in favour. (RotRp January 24 1930). Señor Arturo Coleman in his memoirs suggests that the FCS stockpiled materials at Choele-Choel and Rio Colorado in preparation for the building of this line, but that permission was repeatedly stalled by the government. It may well be that as in other areas the government kept putting off a decision at least partly in order to aid the state railways. Eventually the route of this proposed line was partly served by the 75cm gauge branch from General Vintter to San Juan.
More cash approved for FCE line building, including
78H Third rail currently being laid between Puerto Madryn and Trelew. (RotRP August 22 1930 p27).
89 75cm gauge branch from General Vintter reaches the San Lorenzo sugar plant, though the rest of the branch opened in 1935.
"Surveys will be continued for the construction of several new lines, the most important of these being:
95B "Another Decree authorised the immediate construction of the new railway from Puerto Santa Cruz to the Rio Turbio coal mines (see The Railway Gazette of November 14. 1947, and May 7 last). A provisional estimate of ps. 100.000,000 has been approved, and this sum will be provided by the Ministry of Marine, which will supply also the necessary transport facilities for the material to be used, part of which w.ill be taken from the Ministry's own stores. The Decree contained a recommendation to the effect that this line should be completed within the shortest possible time, even if such a procedure should imply ihe construction of temporary works and stretches of track, to be replaced later by permanent ones." The Railway Gazette, 11 June 1948, page 682.
95E The task of planning a railway from Rio Turbio to the coast is delegated to the Ministry of Transport by decree 9574 of 13th May 1950. Ingeniero Cappa is appointed to lead the work.
98 An FCE map shows a proposed route from General Acha to Fortin Uno on the Neuquen railway.
102 A new tourist railway of 50cm gauge opens on part of the route of the old Ushuaia prison logging railway system. The Ferrocarril Austral Fueguino, promoted by Tranex Tourismo SA, runs into the national park west of Ushuaia.
104 It has recently been suggested that Rio Turbio be linked across the border to Puerto Bories, and presumably Puerto Natales, using surplus equipment from the RFIRT, in order to boost tourism in the areas on both sides of the border.
The FCE broad gauge network