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Locomotives and rolling stock

A considerable puzzle
The railway's steam locomotive stock is still somewhat unclear, not least because as part of the state railways locos could be swapped from line to line. Add to that the practice of opening new lines under the auspices of the Dirección General do Obras Publicas using their own locos and sometimes others bought from the contractor who built the railway, and there is a recipe for considerable confusion. In fact the only way to study the developing situation is to examine the DOP's and FCE's national stock of 60cm gauge locos. It is worth noting at this point that the FCE south central network operated four 60 cm. gauge branches. As well as the Ancud-Castro line there were the branches to Capitan Pastene, Recinto and Colbun further north. Tables of data published in the past give overall figures such as totals of 17 locos, 26 coaches, 6 furgons, and 120 wagons, but these are never broken down into separate totals for each line (5). In addition, the army operated a further line, from Puente Alto outside Santiago to El Volcan, as a long-term training exercise. This had been built along with the FCE lines and had received stock and locos from the same sources before going its own way in later years.

The analysis of the available data takes a considerable amount of space and the full text with tables has therefore been placed in an appendix page. The current page includes all relevant photos and a précis of some of the discussion.

Steam locos on Chiloé
It has been suggested that the original stock on Chiloé was to be five locomotives large and small (1). Boldrini quotes contemporary newspaper sources which reported in 1911 that two locomotives were initially to be delivered - a small one for Ancud, and a large one for Castro. Unfortunately the lighter carrying the loco for Castro was driven ashore and it spent two months awaiting salvage (2). Later, when the construction gangs from the two ends of the line were to meet up, on 8 September 1911, the newspaper reports refer to the locomotive 'Coquiao' from Ancud, and 'Chonchina' from Castro. None of these reports give us clear details of the locomotive type or manufacturer. However, the fact that the locos were named does accord with the practice of the Dirección de Obras Públicas who supervised the construction.


The agents' plate carried by one of the batch of Jung 0-6-2Ts which eventually became the FCE's class 'a'. This particular loco was allocated to the construction of the Puente Alto to Volcan line near Santiago, which meant that it survived long enough to be preserved.

A little more information can be gleaned from the Orenstein & Koppel locomotive builders' list (3). Three locos appear to have been delivered to the Ancud - Castro line via the agents Saavedra Benard y Cia. in Valparaiso. In 1910 a 40hp 0-6-0T no. 3992 presumably for construction trains; in 1912 a much bigger 90hp 0-6-0T no. 5815; and finally in 1914 a 125hp loco no. 7120. There may have been others.

A look at the list of locos built by Jung during 1912 shows a total of seven 0-6-0Ts and four 0-4-0Ts produced for 60cm gauge lines of the Chilean State Railways. The 0-6-0Ts were builders' nos. 1852-8 and the 0-4-0Ts were nos. 1859-62.

Narrow gauge locomotive classes
The next available information comes from 1920 by which time the principal classes of locos were:
Class 'a' 0-6-2Ts
Class 'b' 0-6-0Ts
Class 'c' 0-4-0Ts.

Basic data sheets are available for classes 'a', 'b' and 'c', can be viewed in an appendix page.

In the late 1920s the FCE seem to have got fed up with the ad-hoc identification of the narrow gauge locos. By 1929 or maybe earlier every loco was renumbered into a generic 5000 series covering all 60cm gauge machines.

Class 'a' 0-6-2Ts
The railway's main class of engine appears to have been a series of 0-6-2Ts, built by Arnold Jung. These appear in a number of photos.

Detailled original dimensions included a total weight of 22.8 tonnes; driving wheels of 700mm diameter; a coal capacity of 1006 kgs; and an overall length of 8.9 m. An FCE data sheet from 1939 shown in Carlos Mendez Notari's booklet (6) lists six of these engines (Nos. 5025, 38, 39, 58, 59 and 60), though again it is not clear which locos were on which line..

The grouping of these locos into a single class 'a', hides the fact that there seem to have been two or possibly three clear variants right from the start. Two photos elsewhere in this chapter show a loco of the Chiloe railway on its side after an accident. A loco of this precise pattern survives in Chile on the erstwhile FC Militar del Cajón del Maipo, better known as the FC Puente Alto-Volcan on the outskirts of Santiago.


The photo above shows the Puente Alto-Volcan loco, familarly known as 'Panchita', as it was displayed in the barracks at Puente Alto for many years. More recently it has been moved to Melocotón nearby.

This batch of locos seem to have been ordered by the DOP during the narrow-gauge construction frenzy of the first decade of the 20th century. Whilst the others were transferred to the FCE, this particular loco was handed over to the army when they took on the running of the Puente Alto to Volcan line. Whilst it bears a Koppel agency plate (see photo at head of page) Martin Murray's preserved Orenstein & Koppel loco list (7) confirms that it is an Arnold Jung product, no. 1306 of 1909.

Whilst it was originally thought that differences in detail visible in many photos of locos on the Chiloe railway were the result of later modifications, I am increasingly coming to the conclusion that the majority of the 'a' class locos were delivered looking very different from those just described. The majority of photos illustrating 'a' class locos show flat fronted and rather higher side tanks, larger smokebox doors, a different shape of smokebox side, and double coal rails above the tanks. The characteristic cut out and S-curve in the foot of the tank distinguish all of these locos from the class 'b' with its angular step in the running plate height at the front of the cab.

An extra variation made obvious in the FCE diagram book was that locos 5058-5060, apparently built by Jung, had a longer wheelbase than the other class 'a' engines.

It may be that those supplied by Jung differed from those built earlier by Orenstein and Koppel despite nominally being members of the same class. Furthermore, later modifications by the FCE workshops seem to have increased the size of tanks and bunkers so the extent that the locos latterly looked very different .


Above is one of the earlier locos with the rounded front to the tanks, whilst below is loco 5060 from the Jung 1929 built batch. The square fronted tanks are clearly visible in this shot at Recinto variously described as from 1937 or 1940.


The third major variant is probably the result of a number of modifications through the locos' working lives. The tanks and bunker have gradually increased in size, but the tank cutout over the valve gear and the curved step in the running board line remain.

Class 'a' loco no. 5039. The origin and date of this photo are unknown, but thanks are due to Señor Raúl Moroni who scanned it and sent it. If on Chiloé the photo was probably taken at Ancud or Castro. More interesting are the high side tanks and the big rear bunker, which may have been later modifications.


One of the last members of the class to have been in operation seems to have survived, and we await confirmation that it is being cosmetically restored for display in the centre of the town of Capitan Pastene northwest of Temuco. It may well be loco no. 5025, though its smokebox number-plate has got transferred to another smaller 60cm gauge loco now in the Quinta Normal railway museum in Santiago. This has led to much confusion.

This photo shows type 'a' 0-6-2T no. 5025, probably at Castro depot. There is a turntable in the background.


The following two pictures were taken in 2006 and are displayed on a Flickr page linked from the Capitan Pastene town website. They show an even more highly modified - and rather battered - class 'a' loco. In particular note the enlarged welded tanks and bunker, and the consequent need for modifications to the cab.



Class 'b' 0-6-0Ts
The Jung/Henschel 0-6-0Ts seem to have become the FCE's Class 'b'. The FCE diagram book labelled them as having been built by Jung; however, three early locos, with marginally smaller side tanks than later engines, were built by Henschel for the Linares to Colbun branch in 1909.

A photo from the Henschel catalogue for 1910, showing one of the three locos bearing a name but no running number as was the DOP's custom (17). Strangely the table of details states inaccurately that these locos were for 762mm gauge, though the branch was 600mm.


Below is Class 'b' 0-6-0T no. 5044 of the same general pattern but with higher side tanks. It looks as though it has led a somewhat hard life, with the water tank in particular have been patched all along the bottom seam. The photo was provided by Señor Raúl Moroni but the date and location are unknown.


One of these locos, sometimes described as a Henschel, is preserved down on the waterfront in Castro, with the FCE number 5057. This loco was at one time plinthed at the San Bernardo workshops in Santiago. It has been suggested that this is in fact one of the Arnold Jung engines, no. 1857 of 1912. One source (4) states that this locomotive was transferred after closure to the Saboya - Capitan Pastene line on the mainland, running there until its closure in 1970.

5057, pictured in 1993 on the old alignment in Castro, has some detail differences from 5044 above. Apart from the loss of fittings such as headlight, extra bunker boards, and spark arrestor, 5057 seems to have gained a larger sand-dome, though this is not clearly visible in the photo below.


Class 'c' 0-4-0Ts
Carlos Mendez Notari in his Chiloé railway booklet (8) states that there was a 'locomotora de patio', ie a shunting loco, built by 'Hannover Lynden' in 1908. This is presumably from the company 'Hanomag' but no other details are known. The Hanomag list details two 60cm gauge 0-4-0T locos supplied to 'FCP' Chile in 1908 with running numbers 2 and 3. These were Hanomag works numbers 5376-7. There were also small Arnold Jung locos of 1912, which seem to be of the same size. The Jung loco list implies that they were of 50HP.

Class 'd' Davenport 0-6-2Ts originally ordered by the contractors
Whilst all of the other locomotives seem to have been of German origin, there were two American built engines on Chiloé. These were 0-6-2 tank engines built by Davenport of Iowa, USA. Two were ordered by the contractors building the railway, and were completed in July 1909, builders' numbers 894-5. They seem to have been transferred to the operating railway on completion of the construction contract, and appear in a number of early postcards. Driving wheels were 24 inches diameter, cylinders 9" x 14", and weight 20 tons ().

This picture is taken from a Davenport catalogue of about 1923, kindly forwarded by Vance Bass. It will be noted that the loco bears the running number '7', implying that the owners had other earlier locos.


Classes 'f', 'g' and 'h'
The 1939 FCE passenger working timetable ('itinerario') lists one 'f' class, no. 5052 by Henschel; one class 'g', no. 5053 by Henschel; and two of class 'h', nos. 5054 and 5061 by O&K (13). Not all of these will have been on Chiloé.

Smoschewer loco
The Saboya to Capitan Pastene branch possessed at least one 0-6-0 well tank for a while. This is shown in an early drawing displayed on a Flickr page attached to the Capitan Pastene town website. A similar, though not quite identical, loco was stored at Capitan Pastene for a while after closure but is now in the railway museum at the Quinta Normal park in Santiago. Whilst this is often identified as FCE no. 5025 built by SLM in 1945, these details are false. The true identity is more likely to be Smoschewer (a small German manufacturer based in Breslau) number 730 of 1923 (16), and there may have been others from the same builder delivered to Chile. Whether any of them worked in Chiloe is at present unknown.


At the time of the official last train on 3 March 1959, loco 5060 was used to haul the train. 5039 was to be used for dismantling. However the line staggered on and in Jan 1960 there was a fatal accident. On 20 April 1960 just before the earthquake which halted operations definitively, there were still three locos and a bus-carril 'wandering' the line.

A reminiscence, printed in a book of such recollections by Ancud citizens, says that Ancud 'shed' in later years had three locos, known as 'La Chonchina', 'La Castreña' and 'La 1001' (9).

Loco running numbers
By 1929 all 60cm gauge engines seem to have been numbered in the 5000 series (18). A table in the loco analysis appendix lists all those known, but which lines they each worked on are not yet clear:

Photos of individually identifiable locos at work on the line are very few and far between. The picture below shows class 'a' no. 5025, supposedly at Castro loco shed during the 1950s (14). There appears to be a turntable in the background.


1 El Tren de Chiloé. 1986. Gustavo Boldrini P. Centro de Folklore Magisterio Ancud. Page 39, quoting from La Cruz del Sur, Ancud, 7th June 1911.
2 As above.
3 O. & K. Dampflokomotiven - Lieferverzeichnis 1892-1945 (A list of all O. & K. steam locos with their initial destinations) by R. Bude, K. Fricke & Dr. M. Murray, 1978. Railroadiana Verlag.
4 The Railways of Chile, Volume 5 - Southern Chile. 2002. Wilfred Simms.
5 O. & K. Dampflokomotiven - Lieferverzeichnis 1892-1945 (A list of all O. & K. steam locos with their initial destinations) by R. Bude, K. Fricke & Dr. M. Murray, 1978. Railroadiana Verlag.
Mito, Historia y Leyendas del Tren Chilote. 1996. Carlos Mendez Notari. Page 24
7 Railways of South America: Part 3: Chile. 1930 (W. Rodney Long , U.S. Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce - Trade Promotion Series No. 32, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C.
As above, page 22
9 Ancud - Testimonio de un siglo que se fue. 1999. Radio Estrella del Mar. page 129.
11 El Tren de Chiloé. As above, page 42, quoting from La Cruz del Sur, Ancud, 7th June 1911.
12 El Tren de Chiloé. As above, page 39, quoting from La Cruz del Sur, Ancud, 9th November 1912.
13 Itinerarios, Red Sur, 43a Edicion, 1939, FFCCdelE, Santiago.
14 Photo from the collection of Señor Luis Mardones Ballesteros kindly forwarded by Señor Luis Alberto Mancilla.
15 Una nueva perspectiva de la historia del Ferrocarril Militar del Cajón del Maipo. Ian Thompson Newman, 2005. Available in digital form on the <> website.
16 Personal communications from Dr. Martin Murray and Richard Bowen, 2009.
17 Scan from the 1910 Henschel catalogue kindly provided by Señor Daniel Caso.
18 Information from the FCE annual Memoria reports, consulted in the Ministerio de Transporte y Telecomunicaciones library in Santiago..


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Rolling stock

the 1922 75cm gauge lines


Chapter 6

The Chiloe Island 60cm gauge railway


Site map

Main pages




Rolling stock


Along the route

Photo album

Surviving relics

Quellon distillery

The other 60cm branches

The Capitan Pastene line

The Chillan to Las Termas line

The Linares to Colbún line

The FC Militar


1 Itinerary of route

2 Route map and profile

3 Analysis of Chilean 60cm gauge locos

4 Loco diagrams

5 Documents from prior to construction

6 Documents during construction

7 Documents from later years

8 Rolling stock purchase

9 Linares - Colbún map

10 Capitan Pastene map

11 Cap Pastene line extras

12 Chillán extra images

13 FC Militar map etc

14 FC Militar surviving relics

15 FC Militar extra images

16 Memories of the FC de Chiloé

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