Wednesday, 1 February 2017

40S Locos Still Hard at Work in Chile

I've been in contact with Invarbat, the proprietors of the Tongo copper mine in the Illapel copper mining zone in Chile.  The mines in this area are still operating a fleet of four Simplex locomotives originally supplied in 1973 via Railway Mine and Plantation Equipment. They were originally sold to ENAMI (Empresa Nacional de Mineria de Chile), the national mining company, but a number of these locos were subsequently sold off to smaller independent mining companies. One of Invarbat's locomotives is currently on loan to the adjacent Cola de Pato Mine whilst their own locomotive is dismantled for repair.

Tongo mine - This loco is probably 40S434. Courtesy INVARBAT
There is some confusion about the identities of the locos, as the engine and loco numbers of at least one of the locos do not match. Certainly the loco carrying a 40S435 worksplate seems to have the engine from 40S434, so it is likely that this establishes the identity of two of the locos shown.

40S435 awaits further duties at the Cola de Pato Mine. Courtesy INVARBAT
All the locos are 600mm gauge 3.5 Ton models, fitted with Dorman 2LD engines and exhaust conditioning equipment.

The locos themselves appear to be in very original condition and well looked-after. It is pleasing to see them still doing the work for which they were built.

Mostly Motor Rails