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The Bar

October 12, 2017 04:31PM
There is a track gauge that runs in a world between Narrow and Broad. It services twisting low speed branch lines and heavy high speed mains. It can provide a look into modern day railroading or a trip back in time. For most North American railfans it resides in a dark, little known region simply called a “furr’n country”. Now, look at the switch points up ahead, you’re entering another dimension. 39.37 inches - meter gauge!

The lame parody above is my sole justification for this NNG post which was posted to another forum a few years back.

Brazil, in the 1970’s and 80’s, was fascinating place for the steam enthusiast. American built locomotives could be found in operation from the jungles of the Amazon to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. And if you were looking for pre-turn of the century examples, the sugar plantations of the Campos area north of Rio de Janeiro were a veritable goldmine of link and pin era antiquities.

It was here, in October of 1979, that I found Usina Barcelos 2-8-0 No.1., an 1894 meter gauge, wood burning, product of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, still looking much as she did when she rolled off the erecting floor eighty five years earlier. In these three photos she is first seen running light, then holding short of the Rede Ferroviária Federal, Sociedade Anônima (RFFSA) interchange with a string of loaded cane cars headed for the mill.

For some reason Usina Barcelos still favored long tapered wooden pilots on their locomotives giving them a look seen in so many vintage railroad photos, and for me, the mere fact that she was still in daily service was literally overshadowed by the link to her train. After a lifetime of viewing pictures of turn of the century wood burning locomotives carrying long steel coupling bars on their massive wooden pilots, this was the first time and only time I would ever witness one in use.

Cheers,
Jack


Usina Barcelos No.1__NGDF_1.jpg
Usina Barcelos No.1_NGDF_2.jpeg
Usunia Barcelos No.1_NGDF_3.jpeg



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 10/12/2017 06:24PM by Jack Neville.
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The Bar Attachments

Jack Neville October 12, 2017 04:31PM

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Chris Walker October 12, 2017 06:01PM

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Jack Neville October 12, 2017 06:17PM

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guymonmd October 13, 2017 09:46AM



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