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Extreme Railways


Mr Frosty

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A friend of mine has spent most of his working life as a TV sound recordist. He main line of work is in documentaries and is often found in some of the worlds more extreme places. His latest "project" looks to be stunning though. To quote his own words-

 

I'm shooting a show called 'Extreme Railways' We'll be flying via Sao Paolo into some tiny Chilean town, and from there travelling to Cochabamba in Bolivia by rail, everything from express trains to tiny little chuggers high in the Andes. To say I'm excited is an understatement.

 

I very much look forward to this programme hitting the small screen. :grin

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That looks awesome! I'm eager to know what kind of rolling stock is used under that catenary.

 

That's the Ferrocarril Tocopilla - El Toco in Northern Chile. They use 1920's vintage GE boxcabs. These have been augmented recently by a trio of new locos built in Santiago out of "assorted bits" which were lying around the FCTT scrapheap. Eventually they will build enough electrics to be able to retire the old GEs.

 

If you do a Google for Ferrocarril Tocopilla - El Toco you'll be able to find loads of pictures. There is even a book about it.

 

The railbus is in Bolivia - it's either the Cochabamba - Aiquile or Potosi - Sucre run.

 

Cheers NB

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The "Gorilla" (I call them like that because they resemble a class of Slovak electric locos which bears the same nickname) on the right is the prototype of the new locos - notice that it has the same "baloon" pan as the GE unit on the left. It caused much guffawing amongst the established international rolling stock manufacturers by catching fire on its first trial run! The same lowbed tractor-trailer rig who hauled it all the way from Santiago to Tocopilla (some 1000km) had to be summoned to haul the loco back to Santiago for repairs... Its sisters E652 and E653 however benefitted from the incident by improvements, notably the use of Faiveley pans (much more becoming). These locos only exist because SQM failed to obtain diesels (and second-hand electrics - they even looked in Japan) which could do the same work of the GE electrics under the conditions of the Atacama Desert.

 

Cheers NB

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Sounds like a series right up the alley for the Swiss guys who post their photos on bahnbilder.ch. Here's a link to one of many photos of this line. Their photos of Chile are very good - I quite like how they place the trains in the landscape. Also worth checking are the Nohabs of Kosovo and the Malmbanan in Sweden. In addition to these, they've got pretty much every corner of Europe covered as well as Kazakstan, Russia, Morocco, Algeria and Mongolia. Suprisingly nothing from Japan yet.

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In addition to these, they've got pretty much every corner of Europe covered as well as Kazakstan, Russia, Morocco, Algeria and Mongolia. Suprisingly nothing from Japan yet.

 

Are you sure there is nothing Japanese on that website? :grin

 

E_1208.jpg

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I forgot to mention, the Andes programme is unlikely to be aired. The production team were robbed at the airport and had most of their video stolen. They might make a mini episode, but it unlikely to be more than 15 minutes long.

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"This channel is not available in your country."  Bugger.  I wonder if itunes has it...

 

Same here.  Big media's tentacles even on YouTube, 'nuff said.

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"This channel is not available in your country."  Bugger.  I wonder if itunes has it...

 

Same here.  Big media's tentacles even on YouTube, 'nuff said.

Me too. So much for the 'world wide' web. I can get mail order drugs from some middle eastern country but can't watch a railway documentary. ???:sad:

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Claude_Dreyfus

Watched last night's show, which followed the main line from Mumbai to Mangalore along the west coast of India. It was certainly very interesting...much better than the usual Channel 5 offerings!

 

It reminded me of a very old BBC series 'Great Railway Journeys of the World'. They made several series, but the first made in abiut 1980 was the best. It is nice to see railways being treated seriously by television companies, not as a figure of fun. This series joins an illustious list of decent quality railway programs produced for television.

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