Dieselpunks.org | February 19, 2012
Where do I begin?.. Should we take a narrow gauge or a broad ‘Indian’ one? There are five main gauges in Argentina, you know.
At least two of these gauges – 1000mm and 1676mm (5 ft. 8 in.) once had streamliners running on them. In 1934, Buenos Aires Western Railway received one British-built diesel electric 48-seat railbus, powered by an Armstrong-Saurer 6BXD 122hp engine. The body was built by Park Royal Vehicles Ltd, London and delivered to Scotswood for fitting. It had a cab at each end and accommodated 48 passengers. In 1937, a batch of single & double railcars, powered by Armstrong-Sulzer 6LF19 275hp engines arrived to Central Argentine Railway.
These integrally welded all steel vehicles were built by BRCW Smethwick being equipped with mechanical transmission, two with a Vulcan-Sinclair fluid coupling and Wilson five speed gearbox & two equipped with a five speed SLM oil operated gearbox. The engine, transmission and radiator were mounted on a subframe carried by one of the 12ft wheelbase bogies, the single cars weighed 38tons and were 76.5ft long and seated 75 passengers. The articulated sets weighed 66tons with a top speed of 68mph. (Source)
From 1937 through eraly 1960s, diesel multiple units built by Ganz (Hungary) were used for Buenos Aires Great Southern Railway express service. There were two DMU classes; similar in appearance, they had different dimensions. One, so-called “Ganz Catamarca”, served on the Catamarca route, metre gauge.
The other, “Ganz Bariloche”, was used on 800km Viedma – San Calos de Bariloche route, 1676mm ‘Indian’ gauge. Several months ago I wrote that Argentine Ganz DMUs could be inspired by the Chilean Railways Southern Arrows. Now, knowing when the production started, I can say just the opposite – the Arrows were built later. And don’t forget that “Ganz Bariloches” were practically identical to the Soviet DP-1/10 diesel trains received from Hungary as war reparations.
(Both photos from the photostream Ferroclub Patagonico Viedma @ Flickr)
Finally, after 1939 railway nationalization, came a domestic-built… not exactly a streamliner but a remarkable diesel electric locomotive: No. 1 Justicialista. She was powered by two 735hp Sulzer diesel engines. Top speed was 90 km/h.