Wool and mutton trains!
Farm and slaughterhouse railways?
The aerial photo below shows part of the Puerto Sara frigorifico near Estancia San Gregorio. The size and extent of the buildings (which extend beyond this clipped picture) show that it is a frigorifico rather than merely an estancia. The photo was provided by Señor Raúl Moroni from a Chilean railways summer holiday guide (!). Although not obvious in this low-resolution version there are railway tracks, at least one covered van, and a double-track muelle off to the bottom left.
Map of known estancia and frigorifico railways
Individual pages for each location
Other reported sites
Raúl Moroni of Santiago de Chile reports having seen narrow-gauge industrial tracks next to a road in San Julián when there in 1997. Note, this will not have been at the frigorifico which was several kilometres north of the town.
The following photo taken at Puerto Santa Cruz, probably in the early 1940s, appears to have a rail track just in front of the wool bales though this is not absolutely clear (5).
Señor Mateo Martinic (4) suggests that other large estancias having therir own coastal muelles included those at Gente Grande, Bahía Felipe and Caleta Josefina. Any of these might have had short hand-worked railways.
The public muelle at Porvenir in Chilean Tierra del Fuego, showing a double line of 60cm gauge tracks and a pair of Jubilee/Decauville type points leaning against the railings at the right (6). The car looks more like one from the 1950s, but given that the original publication of the photo was in 1942, it might have been an American vehicle from around 1940.
The muelle at Estancia Paine on Lago ???. A rail track is clearly visible.
Unidentified lines on jetties
This one shows 60cm gauge track and slaughtered sheep alongside a vessel, thus making it likely that it is at an estancia rather than a frigorifico.
A double track muelle, with the gauge beingg probably one metre.
Frozen carcases being loaded onto a small metre (?) gauge wagon at a frigorifico. Another wagon already loaded is in the background.
Almost certainly at the same location as the previous picturee carcases are being loaded into a lighter to be taken out to a ship. The double-tracked muelle has a crossover at th end to allow empty wagons to be released and returned to the shore.
Farm railways in the Falklands
This is a McLaren 8hp road loco, nominally of 12 tons weight, though probably rather heavier as McLaren's tended to build to last! It was built in 1913/4 as works no. 1570, and shipped out to Patagonia to an unknown customer. Similar engines nos. 1295 and 1296 had been delivered to this area in 1912. No. 1295 ended up at Estancia Stag River near Rio Turbio on the Argentine side of the border and has recently been repatriated to England where it is being restored by Richard Morris of Worcester. No. 1296 at some time or other donated its slide valve cover to the machine pictured below, which explains the mistaken identity reported on various previous occasions. It is not yet clear whether the initial delivery was made to Chile or Argentina, but certainly the water and wood necessary to operate such an engine would have been in more plentiful supply west of the border!
The next photo shows a Mann steam wagon as used by the SETF for carrying wool bales. This too is now preserved at the Instituto de la Patagonia. The photo is by Richard Morris, 2003.
Finally, nothing to do with estancias or frigoríficos, an Aveling & Porter road roller once owned by the Punta Arenas municipality. This too is now preserved outdoors at the Institute. This is another of Richard Morris's photos.
The big estancias and 'frigoríficos'