Rail roads and their tracks.

   / Rail roads and their tracks. #3,231  
It was in Patagonia. Argentina or Chile.
There was a show I watched on these railroads in the mountains to bring cargo and ore from the mountains to the sea. Also to bring people from far flung villages.

As the cargo got less important, the rails were pretty much abandoned.

Very few people live along the line, but some people were paid to do the runs anyway, doing their own maintenance. They had many low speed derailments it would take them months to fix with little help from the government.

I guess they have been trying to support their efforts with tourism.
I doubt anyone from the country rail companies or government supported this.
   / Rail roads and their tracks. #3,232  
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   / Rail roads and their tracks.
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Recent photo from Two Harbors MN - overhead of yard view / October 2023
   / Rail roads and their tracks. #3,235  
2' 6" gauge on that Patagonia railroad sounds like it may have ben originally built for ore, never passenger service.

I've read the reason for such a narrow gauge is it allows much shorter radius curves, so there's less earthmoving to build a route in rough terrain. And on this Patagonia route, there may have been cheap construction and poor maintenance, expected to last only until a mine's ore was exhausted.

Dad related to me that as a kid, he worked summers for his father at a gold mine in the Sierras. His father was the mine superintendent. Dad chucked worthless rock off the conveyor as it went to fill narrow-gauge railcars. That railroad ran 30 miles to Colfax where the cars were dumped into the transcontinental SP train. The ore went to Oakland, then by barge to the smelter at Tacoma Washington. Barely profitable. But during the Depression, better than closing the mine.
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   / Rail roads and their tracks.
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Another video of powder basin coal heading east. I worked just north of where this is filmed but the sound of those power-heads sure brings back memories. :D A reminder that the colored ends of these cars indicates its rotator coupler.
   / Rail roads and their tracks. #3,240  
Amtrak derailment about 10:15 last night due to striking a truck stuck on the tracks. Minor injuries only, so that's good. This is about 30 miles NW of us.