The "Ferrocarril General Roca" in the Argentinian provinces of Chubut and Rio Negro is the only remaining line on the American continent, that still uses exclusively steam power. It's small but comfortable trains have been running through the vast lands of Patagonia for the last fifty years, they are now like a living museum. It's narrow gauge contrasts with the vast immensity of the landscape, transforming the area it travels through into a splendid picture. The line extends over 402 kilometres on it's way from Ing. Jacobacci in Rio Negro to Esquel in Cubut, accumulating 646 curves along the way, 1 tunnel and several bridges.
The line is in posession of 22 steam locomotives, 11 German built Henschels and 11 American Baldwins, 7 of which are currently operable. The locomotives are oil fired and have been in service for up to 74 years. There are no diesel engines in use anywhere on the line. Most of the rolling stock also dates from 1922, although only few of it remain operational by now. Travelling the line now is a unique chance to combine the experiences of a working technical relic and the overwhelming Patagonian landscape.
I travelled the line (or what remains of it) in November 1995 and for those who might like to do so as well or just to see some nice pictures of it, I have gathered some information about
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