The remains of the Cabo Raper lighthouse construction railway
A wonderful series of photographs showing the route and remaining features of the railway have recently been received from the Chilean Navy through the good offices of Capitán Luis Longhi Bernal of the navy's public information office.
The sheltered nature of the Estero Slight is well captured in this scene. Puerto Slight is in the far right background.
A number of railway relics have been gathered for display at Puerto Slight. These include the cast iron base of a small stationary steam engine, perhaps from the incline, a pair of wagon wheels, a single steam cylinder and valve chest either from the locomotive or from the stationary engine, a large cable sheave perhaps from the incline gear, and an unidentified cast walkway with chequer plate texture possibly from the lighthouse itself.
Another view of the collected relics.
A pair of concrete viaduct piers complete with rails. In such a damp climate the timber baulks and braces have long since rotted away. The rainfall here is at least 3000mm per year and the vegetation is best described as temperate rainforest.
A line of rail lies half submerged in a shallow cutting.
Beyond the isthmus the route lies just above the surf. The concrete piers are half hidden in undergrowth.
Where the alignment needed to be higher from the ground the piers were cast in two or three stepped sections. Here two of the piers have fallen, perhaps one knocked down by the other like dominoes in a line.
The unsurfaced track which replaced the railway in the 1930s shows up as a pale line across the photo behind these piers.
A line of tall piers just above the high tide line, with possibly a length of rail at the bottom left.
The route appears from behind the cliff to the left and then comes straight towards the camera.
A view, probably from a helicopter, as the 'trackbed' approaches the lighthouse location. A line of dark piers shows up to the left.
The end of the adhesion worked railway, and the start of the rope-worked incline.
The same area seen this time from the lighthouse platform. The line of piers is at bottom right and then, after a gap, there are two or three more piers forming the foot of the incline about one third of the way across from the right hand edge of the photo.
A heavily pixellated recent view of the lighthouse, re-roofed since the photo at the foot of the main railway page was taken. The incline would have climbed the hillside roughly in line with the right-hand end of the building, but the undergrowth prevents precise identification of the alignment.
1All pictures on this page were taken recently by personnel of the Armada de Chile (the Chilean Navy), for whose help we are extremely grateful.