Thursday, November 1st, 2018
President Emeritus David T. Morgan
DM noted the advantages of holding the Wattrain Conference every 3 years; he stressed the need to give priority to the protection of our historic right to use our traditional fuels such as coal and oil, the importance of ensuring that the next generation is trained to restore, operate and maintain our historic and traditional stock and equipment, and to improve the viability of our members by helping them to promote their services, thus increasing their revenues and to produce or at least to contain their costs. He mentioned the activity of Wattrain in enacting the Joint environmental working group with Fedecrail on fuel problems, disseminating the training programs of UK’ BESTT, setting up a link with UIC and Toprail, supporting local rail heritage projects. He mentioned and thanked Ian Leigh who stood down as Finance Director, being replaced by Andrew Gill, Membership Secretary; he thanked and congratulated Peter Lewis, Newsletter Editor, and - replacing Ian Leigh - new Webmaster. He acknowledged the support that will be given by Andy Masters. He thanked our Patrons: Hon Tim Fischer, Lord Faulkner, Courtney Wilson, Sergio Zubieta. He informed the Conference of his decision to stand down as Chairman/President of Wattrain, staying on the Board to support the team. He mentioned his successor, Stefano Benazzo, wishing him well as the new President. He thanked Tripp Salisbury for sponsoring the Wattrain Conference.
President Stefano Benazzo
SB thanked DM for his words and his trust; he thanked Wattrain Members for supporting him in his new functions, the Patrons, the Sponsors. He mentioned his activity as Photographer of stranded Shipwrecks, noting the similarity with the respect all tourist railways fans have towards the duty of memory of the men who built them, maintained them, managed and drove them. He welcomed the attendees who flew over from Australia, Latin America and Germany. He confirmed that he would respect and enact Wattrain’s goals and mission; he confirmed his intention to foster Wattrain connections with UIC, Fedecrail, HRA, etc. Having a long love story with American railroads, he expressed his gratitude to HRA for inviting Wattrain to participate to its next Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He mentioned his intention to submit to the Board the possibility of an increase of the Wattrain relationship with China, Russia, India, etc.
Stephen Ryan: Museum Design, Relevancy, Attracting Visitors (+Power Point)
SR stressed the importance of using museums as a venue to push visitors to think not only about the past but also about themselves and their future; museums should insist on talking about people and their stories; the future of museums is made of the people who are not coming to museums today; need to create “multiple access points”, in order to put together a “continuum of human enterprise”; effort needed to try and also get the interest of ladies (specifically young ladies), not only of white males; railways touch upon every aspect of human activity; they have been, and often still are, crossroads of commerce and trade.
Bob LaPrelle: Moving a Rail Museum, The Challenges & Tribulations
BLP noted that his museum has one of the 5 or 6 most important collections of US railway equipment of historical significance.
G. Mark Ray: Partnerships
Courtney Wilson: Reflecting on 30 years of Experience
eading the Way: A Primer on Being in Charge
Good morning friends and colleagues. It is my pleasure to address you at this international gathering of heritage railway colleagues from around the world. In line with the theme of this conference “addressing tomorrow’s challenges with today’s resources” I am hopeful that some of my comments on leadership will provide some useful tools for the future of our business.
My remarks this morning are based on the thoughts of Franklin Robinson, a colleague, who was the long-time director of Johnson Art Museum at Cornell University. Because I recently stepped down after more than 2 decades as the head of the B&O Railroad Museum David Morgan asked me to reflect on those years and impart some experiences. Over my more than 40 years of being in the world of saving and preserving things and telling their stories I’ve learned a few things about leadership I’d like to share.
Firstly, holding a job doing something you love so dearly is truly a privilege. One never knows, however, what a day will bring. In any one moment you might be dealing with a leaking roof, an alarm, an irate visitor, an endlessly complicated budget, asking someone for money, even a lost child or wrapping your brain around a new museum education theory that is sweeping across the country but doesn’t make any sense to you whatsoever.
I’ve learned that there are a lot of dichotomies in the way we manage organizations, museums, heritage railways or a combination thereof. Let’s take a look at how we should lead.
Be kind: Any head of an organization that seeks to impart knowledge, preserve history, save important artifacts of our culture and do good should be the model of good behavior. A leader must be caring and understanding.
Be ruthless: This or that little problem, you or someone else and their problems is not what matters. What matters is the survival of your organization and you have to do what you have to do to insure its health, prosperity and longevity.
Be approachable: People work harder for someone they know and respect. Love your staff and volunteers and let them know it.
Be aloof: Don’t fall into the trap of loving your staff and volunteers...at least not too much.
They can never forget that they work for you and you have the power to hire and fire them.
Never lose your temper: You can dig yourself into a hole in a millisecond that is very difficult to get out of. Apologies afterwards don’t usually repair the damage.
Never let anyone forget that you might have a temper: You need every tool in your arsenal in order to be successful and keeping some of your attributes as “unknown” works well.
Think short term: Every day is a stepping stone, a building block to which at the end of each day you can find satisfaction in some level of accomplishment.
Think long term: One little wrong turn can upset an organization and send it in the wrong direction.
Forget about doing your own research and gathering your own knowledge. You are the head of this organization and you have others to do that for you.
Never forget to do your own research. Part of what you offer to your organization is depth of knowledge and a high level sense of scholarship. You should always be on the learning curve and just a little bit ahead of your colleagues.
Don’t forget to take a vacation: Time away is refreshing, fulfilling and will provide renewed energy and vision when you return.
You’re never really on vacation. You are a public figure and a representative of your organization so your personal standards must never be put to the side no matter where you are. You must always be ready to respond to a problem at home or…you may elect to go visit a generous donor while you are close by or use part of a vacation day to finish up a letter that’s been laying on your desk for a month.
The numbers don’t matter: Staff size, number of visitors, budget size…none of this matters. Your organization is about saving cultural things and using them to educate people about the past in a manner exuding the highest standards of quality.
Of course the numbers matter! Even though they are a rough, somewhat contradictory measure of success-they are objective for the most part and will always be viewed as a hallmark of your success or failure. Oh and your trustees take the numbers very seriously.
Appearances matter. Maybe they shouldn’t but they do so tuck in your shirt.
Work fast: Change and progress only happens when a leader leads, maintains momentum and doesn’t get distracted.
Work slow: People will be very slow to forgive and forget mistakes you made by not paying attention.
Genius is in the detail: There is no aspect of your operation that isn’t important. No activity or function that is useless and no person that is expendable. Ignore one aspect of any of this and you will pay for it over time. So get out your handkerchief and wipe the fingerprints off the windows in your front door.
Rise above the details: The leader is the only person who sees every aspect of the museum or organization. Keeping your eye on every strength, weakness, threat or opportunity is key. Don’t get bogged down in the details.
Know your visitors. You’re not likely to ignore your trustees, staff, volunteers or donors but the visitor or the person buying a ticket to your railway are your clients. Watch them, talk to them they will give you insight into your organization and its strengths and weaknesses you can get nowhere else.
Know your collection and the history of what you are preserving. You may have looked at an artifact, seen and done everything every day for the past decade but that is what people are coming and spending their money and time with you to see or do. You should know something about everything and everything about something.
Respect your trustees. They are your best friends-treat them as such. They hired you because they like you. They can fire you if and when they don’t. They can also be awkward, uncertain, meddling and negative. Maintain your leadership role at all times when dealing with them.
Work through consensus. Having an army of agreement behind you is a powerful thing.
Take risks. No matter what you do someone is going to love it and someone is going to hate it. If you’re not taking chances you’re not doing your job and probably not accomplishing much of value.
Finally there are three great dangers to avoid as a leader in this business.
1. Self-centeredness, ego, the tendency to lecture, correct and give orders.
2. Self pity. “No one has ever worked this hard and been treated so poorly”
3. Cynicism. Most of your job is to be nice to people many of whom are far from nice in return.
Ultimately your job boils down to making sure that everyone around you truly believes in the organization’s mission and you must insure that you are on track with that mission. Perhaps most importantly is that you believe in that mission as well.
David Morgan: Protecting Historical Items of Your Collection
This talk is really addressed to those of you who undertake commercial operations while at the same time have care and control of rolling stock, equipment or other artefacts which are of historical, cultural or other significance. I must also enter a caveat that conditions may vary from one jurisdiction to another and therefore if you are seeking to improve the protection of what I might call your museum collection, you should take local professional advice. However, I suspect that the law relating to liquidation or bankruptcy will not vary hugely.
Several years ago, the Chatterly Whitfield Mining Museum in Stoke-on-Trent in the UK went into liquidation – in short, it was bust. Its collection of exhibits included many artefacts of historical interest and when they were put up for sale, there were howls of protest. Part of the protest was due to the common perception that because the museum was a charity, the creditors were not entitled to seize collection items, especially those of historical significance. They were wrong. Their challenges were defeated – and I suspect the same was true of the present closure of the Canberra Museum in Australia.
The sad thing is, or was, that there are ways of protecting collections from seizure by liquidators or receivers acting for the creditors of a failed company, museum, foundation, charity or organisation. For 32 years, I served in the British Territorial Army as a reservist, training to kill people – a job in which I was a complete failure as I am not aware that I killed a single person. But I had other uses. One day I was summoned by High Command to a meeting of six very senior generals. They were trustees of a very valuable medal collection and they had been asked by the director of “The Museum of Army Transport” to exhibit their collection in a new museum. “You run some railway museums and you’re a lawyer” they said “Is it safe?” “No” I replied, “unless you protect it by retaining ownership and for practical reasons you make it clear who the owners are.”
I am glad to say they took my advice, because eight years later the museum went bust and closed. The collection was returned intact to the trustees of the collection. In that case, it was easy to define the owners but there is no reason why a railway operator should not create a separate trust or foundation to have ownership of important artefacts, provided, of course, that such action is not taken late in the day when the commercial operator is in financial difficulties and the action is taken to defeat the rights of the creditors.
Of course, the trust, foundation or company should not be a subsidiary of the operating company because that itself could become an asset of the operator and therefore accessible by the Liquidator or Receiver.
What I have outlined above is a measure to protect collections from legal claims by creditors where possible, but do not be lulled into a false sense of security. There are many rogues out there who will only too happy to avail themselves to your assets. In voluntary organisations most of us believe that our co-workers, especially volunteers, are motivated by the same altruistic aims as we are; sadly, this is not always the case. The general manager of one steam railway claimed “generous expenses”. However, even his accounts clerk queried whether the purchase of a pizza in Thurso near John O’Groats was an allowable expense when his railway was over 1,000 miles away in South-West England. The Secretary-General of a transport charity was helping himself to the Trust’s money to pay for his daughter’s wedding.
Insiders are less likely to steal historic items, but criminals may be quite happy to. At least here, you can get insurance to protect you against financial loss, as the next speaker will doubtless explain, but it may not be able to replace the missing item. For that reason you may wish to protect your collection, equipment and tools by CCTV, lighting or smart water, which is an indelible marker, only visible to infra red examination. There may be other forms of physical protection available.
However, one railway with whom I have a huge amount of sympathy is the ZigZag Railway in New South Wales. Over 50% of its coaching stock was destroyed when a gunner in the Australian Army flattened its coach shed when practicing his ranging abilities. Then there is vandalism. But that is another story...
Tripp Salisbury: Insurance
Clive Moore: Environment, Keep the Fire Burning
Shaun McMahon: Technical Developments Related to New Fuels
S.T. Mc MAHON
José Hernandez 2461
Federal Capital of Buenos Aires 1426
Issued: October 2018.
1. Index. (page 2)
2. References. (page 3)
3. Introduction. (page 4)
4. Discusion. (page 5)
5. Concluding remarks. (page 8)
(1) Mc MAHON, S.T. “Draft Specification for a Modern High
Performance 0-6-0 or 2-6-2 T, Narrow Gauge Steam Locomotive
Originally Planned for the Ferrocarril Austral Fueguino, Argentina,
However Adaptable for any 500 mm or 610 mm Gauge Railway.”
Cipriano Reyes 2726, Barrio San Vicente de Paúl, Ushuaia (9410),
Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Emitted May 2004, reviewed and updated
(2) GIRDLESTONE, P.R. “Back to Coal on the FR.” The Railway
Magazine, London, England, United Kingdom, July 1986 edition.
(3) PORTA, L.D. Personal correspondence relating to modern
steam locomotive development as an integral part of the tourist railway
industry in all parts of the World. 1990 to 2003.
(4) GARCÍA, S. “Con Corazón de Carbón – El Ramal Ferro
Industrial Rio Turbio.” Revista Todo Trenes, No.68. Junio del 2009.
Buenos Aires, 2009.
(5) CLICK, J. “Report on Transportation of Coal by the Rio
Turbio Railway, YCF, Argentina.” British National Coal Board Report
for the United Nations, London, England, United Kingdom. December
(6) PORTA, L.D. “Advanced Steam Locomotive Engineering –
Three Technical Papers.” Camden Miniature Steam Services, Rhode,
Bath, England, United Kingdom. October 2006.
(7) A1 LOCOMOTIVE TRUST. Personal correspondence relating to
an improved modern steam version of the A1 Pacific locomotive
“Tornado”. 1992 to 1995.
(8) CATCHPOLE, P. & McMAHON, S.T. “Locomotives
International, editions No.s 73, 74, 77, 78, 79 & 80.” Technical and
descriptive articles relating to XXI Century steam locomotive
development in Argentina and overseas with specific reference to the
Ferrocarril Austral Fueguino, the Rio Turbio Railway and the Welshpool
and Llanfair Light Railway.
(9) Mc MAHON, S.T. “Development Stages of the FCAF.” Tranex
Turismo S.A. Ferrocarril Austral Fueguino, Ruta Nacional 3, Km. 3042,
Ushuaia (9410), Tierra del Fuego. October 2003.
(10) Mc MAHON, S.T. “The Practical Application of ‘Porta
Treatment’ – an Advanced Internal Boiler Water Treatment System –
on Steam Locomotives of the Ferrocarril Austral Fueguino, Rep.
Argentina.” Tranex Turismo S.A. Ferrocarril Austral Fueguino, Ruta
Nacional 3, Km. 3042, Ushuaia (9410), Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.
March 2003. Paper presented at UK FEDECRAIL Conference,
Llandudno, Gwynedd, North Wales, United Kingdom, April 2003.
(11) Mackwell Locomotive Co. Ltd. Christchurch, New Zealand.
Personal correspondence with company in relation to modern steam
locomotive development in New Zealand and corresponding interaction
with current modern steam development in Argentina. 2018.
With the coming of the XXI Century we are faced with a number of new global
issues to deal with, one such issue that we are more than concerned about
nowadays is steam locomotive fuel.
The whole World situation in relation to available energy resources, food,
transport, communication, methods of working, overall economic and related
financial strategies, regional and national government structures, private
industry, leisure activities along with a whole host of other items has changed
dramatically since the latter part of the last century. Further changes are
occurring at an exponential rate hence the modern steam business in the form
of tourist and other forms of trains must be apace with all of this. Nowadays as
we come to the enmd of the second decade of the XXI Century general
ignorance of the facts is no excuse.
Significant thermodynamic advancements have taken place since the 1950’s
whilst many more are being made at this point in time. This allows us to work in
a much more advanced way with steam locomotives right now and well into the
future; in fact to a degree of precision hitherto unthinkable.
The original Stephensonian layout and general scheme of the steam locomotive
does not impede its modernisation. The Stephensonian steam locomotive
demonstrates some characteristics that have been either forgotten, simply not
fully appreciated or just misunderstood by many.
The main reasoning for this simple fact is because the steam locomotive in its
classical form matured before thermodynamics became a basic and everyday
science. It can withstand an incredibly high amount of abuse, whilst at times
convenient, it must be understood that this is not a long term benefit so the key
point here is to understand the steam locomotives true flexible nature in being
able to deal with geographically isolated and technically hostile locations as well
as being able to use various types of fuel which are, by default, of differing
quality from region to region.
Environmental protection and preservation have become an essential part of
everyday life. Oil prices are rising as a result of the supply and demand factor,
which is commonly referred to as the “Peak Oil Factor” which we are familiar
with. When and where the two corresponding lines on the x – y axis cross is
referred to as the point of no return within the oil industry. It is commonly
believed by experts in this field that the transition point has ocurred with
resulting economic crisis being suffered at the moment around the World.
A resuscitated economy will receive stimulus so as to handle the upcoming and
very seriously harsh energetic problems ahead. The price of oil is not stable
thus indicating its scarcity on the World Trade Market.
Global atmospheric climate change is forcing us to make much more short and
long term use of biomass in its many forms as a main energy source in our
everyday lives, fortunately here in Argentina we have an abundance of such
and can therefore continue to advance combustion techniques in order to have
readily avialable fuel sources for both classic and modern steam locomotives.
Thanks to the Gas Producer Combustion System (GPCS) and nowadays the
Cyclonic Gas Producer Combustion System (C-GPCS). It is possible to develop
very high power outputs using any reasonable fuel without the need for
structural alterations. This is a fundamental point to be understood in relation to
the combustion of biomass as a fuel because it does NOT contribute to any
type of global warming effect. I use the word “contribute” rather than “cause”
as global warming is in itself part of the earth’s natural regeneration cycle.
However mankind during the past two centuries has undoubtedly contributed
negatively to this effect by not paying enough attention to overall pollution
emissions caused by all industries in an age when thermodynamics was not
available as an everyday tool. Steam locomotives have for far to long been
treated as mechanical machines when in fact they are heat engines and new
generations of owners, operators and maintainers need to be re educated in
this very area so as to gain the maximum benefit from their engines. The overall
costs for true Second Generation Steam locomotives should be in the region of
60% of the very best North American First Generation steam locomotives of the
1950’s, the latter were mechanically superior to any other steamers running
anywhere in the World but unfortunately hardly any attention was paid to their
thermodynamic design hence poor overall efficiency figures! This was not the
case, for example, in France.
Experience to date has shown that tourist steam traction does not need to be
old, dirty and smelly in order to draw in the crowds; in fact to ensure a reliable
service for the fare paying passenger nothing could be farther from the truth.
Steam does need to be present and pulling the trains in order for the customers
to be satisfied. Ideally in the XXI century the steam railway industry should take
advantage of all modern steam technology proven in service to date.
Some 15 years ago I was engaged to undertake in depth studies concerning the
feasibility of a steam hauled tourist train service over the existing Rio Turbio
Railway. I took the opportunity to carry out live steam trials on test locomotive
No.107. The results of these trials yielded a huge amount of practical
information with respect to the existing condition of the remainder of the Rio
Turbio steam fleet and also enabled me to draw up a re modification plan so as
to return these de modified locomotives to their previous condition with a full
GPCS and other mechanical benefits. The same work led me to draw up a
detailed specification of what I have christened the “Advanced Santa Fe”
locomotive, using an existing locomotive of the Rio Turbio Railway as a
prototype so as to include what I would refer to as a second stage of
advanced modifications that can be cost effectively and practically built into
the machine without any major structural alteration. These locomotives would
not only serve the purpose of running a steam hauled tourist train service along
the existing line but could also be an economical and technical solution to the
current Rio Turbio Railway motive power crisis. Please note that this scheme
takes into account present day industrial technology rather than traditional
Given the fact that we are facing the scarcity of “old fuels” that can be readily
used for steam locomotives as well as restrictions nowadays being put upon the
extraction of coal as a an everyday source of energy, we need to take a more in
depth and open minded view of what are now termed “new fuels” for steam
locomotive operation. Biomass has been mentioned, however at CSRail in the
United States we have gone furtther during the past few years by taking a much
closer look at developing Biocoal. Initial trials on a small scale have proved
successful and we are now upgrading the same test procedure to larger
locomotives in the near future as well improving Biocoal production plants.
As part of the solution in the southern hemisphere, Mackwell Locomotive Co.
Ltd. are making important advancements in conjunction with the use of
environmentally friendly available waste fuels for use in steam locomotives in
The base for current global advancements in this field is to be found in
Argentina, specifically with respect to the Rio Turbio Railway since the 1950s
the Ferrocarril Austral Fueguino (FCAF) in Ushuaia since the 1990s. Present
day work in the country includes the full rebuilding and modification to “multi
fuel” condition of a 1907 built North Bristish Locomotive Co. Class 8A
locomotive; liquid fuels include locally produced bio diesel whilst solid fuels
include biomass briquettes which again are locally produced.
There are always risks associated with any form of progress and steam hauled
trains and railways are no exception to the rule. Locomotive operating and
maintenance staff around the World have born witness to the benefits of
modern steam engineering in relation to the introduction and application of new
fuels and nowadays view the issue as being fundamental for the sustainability
of the industry.
Sergio Rodriguez Zubieta: The Issue of Social Inclusion
In his paper the author explains why tourist trains can be an alternative solution to help to solve the rising unemployment of the excluded.
Three years ago, I had the honor of being invited to Tokyo to freely express my opinion on the sustainability of tourist trains. At that time my clarification about the difference between sustainable and sustainability had such an impact that now I am tempted to repeat it.
The word “Sustainable” refers to something that can sustain by itself. On the other hand, we could talk about “Sustainability” meaning something that can sustain on time, thanks to the economic, social or environmental conditions that allow it. What is the difference then between sustainable and sustainability? Sustainable is only concerned with the preservation of natural resources to ensure that future generations can also have this kind of resources to satisfy their needs. But it is not a permanent status, a fire, an earthquake or man can destroy it. However, sustainable development is a process for achieving sustainability. It considers the social, political and economic conditions of the community.
The World Summit for Social Development in 2005 identified as goals of sustainability the three pillars: economic development, social development and environmental protection.
Some relevant issues of economic sustainability linked to the improvement of the bottom line of the company, with positive environmental impact, were presented at the 1st Congress of the tourist trains that took place in Brienz, Switzerland, in October 2003. Along with the modifications in the locomotives made by Roger Waller, I presented a report on the benefits of modern steam technology, a concept that you all know. I refer to Lemport nozzles to improve the flow of exhaust gases designed by the famous engineer Livio Dante Porta, in addition to his well-known Water Treatment for boilers.
In Tokyo we deal with the issue of environmental sustainability. Today I am going to tell you my vision about social sustainability, and the concerns in a community where we develop our projects.
The opening to world trade, result of the first GATT agreements, generated a new Globalization era, whose paradigm today is to promote a single space for commerce. If we narrowly define globalization as the degree of integration of markets for goods, services, and capital across country borders, we can see the ebb and flow of globalization depicts how integrated the world economy has been over time.
Its impact has been enormously positive for humanity, having succeeded in removing half of the people from poverty, something that seemed impossible in 1960. We must highlight both, its positive aspects: The increase in productivity, the rise of the Internet, technology growth; as the negative aspects: closing of companies, increase of unemployment in the so-called rust belt areas, decrease in education. To better understand the impact of globalization on Western societies, we should apply the economic conclusions of the Stolper-Samuelson theorem, which summarizes: "Globalization affects scarce factors and benefits abundant factors." This is how abandoned industrial areas appeared in many regions and cities, with people without work and unable to adapt to the new era of Digital Revolution.
Because of globalization, we have two serious crises to face in the twenty-first century:
Unemployment of skilled labor and the digital revolution, which have displaced many people in the developed world. As everyone warns us, in the future a job will require other skills.
What happens then with the cities and its societies? For a community to grow sustainably, it must be sustainable with the environment, have a sustainable economy, and must also accept being a plural community, in which consensus and social equity are achieved. Pluralism helps every community to grow better because it enriches it by removing it from stagnation. And to be able to grow and to live better, a community must reach consensus, everyone must yield and accept an intermediate solution in the antinomies that are usually presented daily. Finally, equality is important so as not to exclude others that are outside the system without the possibility of developing.
Poor or indigent people are mostly associated with unemployed people, but since the eighties a new social group emerges that are the “poor working people”. These are poorly trained people for whom there are fewer and fewer jobs. Although quality jobs are created, there are a lot of people who are not "employable" in the terms that the labor market requires. This problem is found in many developed countries and in Argentina it has had an even greater expansion in the last 30 years. Having reached 57% in 2002, today the poverty level is 28.7%.
In Argentina, the richest districts look like parts of Europe. Majority of university students, aging population, many people living alone and negative vegetative growth. Families today have fewer children than their parents had or, directly, do not.
On the contrary, in the poorest districts of the rest of the country, the population growth is of underdeveloped levels. Adolescent motherhood, i.e. women with more than three children at an early age, are a huge problem.
For those girls and boys, who are hardly educated and trained, there will be no decent work. They will be poor or, worse, destitute, even if they have an occupation. And that's true, at best. The other alternatives are the permanent dependence on state subsidies, crime or a combination of all misfortunes.
It is no longer enough to reduce inflation and improve employment, to significantly improve the social situation. Even with good policies well implemented, for many it will be late. They will live on the state subsidy until the end of their days because, perhaps, they can never be transformed into employable people. Although it is extremely difficult to improve the situation, it is incredibly simple to make it worse.
The new society in which we are entering rapidly in this century is the information society. This change, based on the digital revolution, is raising new class barriers between "Included and Excluded" in the community.
Our country, with 44 million people, some 26 million people are Economically Active Population, but only 12 million are registered workers. 2.2 are unemployed people. The rest: 5.2 self-employed people; 4.9 social assisted people; 0.5 domestic workers and 1 are odd jobs. The complexity of employment is increased if we consider the immigrants who increase the labor supply. But a harsher vision is to divide them into: "combatants" who are the ones who work, the "wounded" who live by populist social subsidies and the "prisoners" who are expelled from the system.
Many technical schools developed by the state railroads and by the union were the source that provided machinists, mechanics and technicians who worked for the railroads. With the shift to the private sector, all this process was abandoned leaving a huge void that today is occupied by the railfans. Although it sounds a paradox, today the lovers of the steam locomotives can be dedicated to trains, when before nobody would have let them intrude if it did not have the pertinent suitability.
For this reason, I believe that our interest and effort to preserve the old locomotives and trains has a greater social value if we understand that with our action we can generate alternative sources of jobs that require little computer knowledge, helping to mitigate the negative effects of this digital revolution, so that we can make society more sustainable. We must promote the knowledge of steam and the classical locomotives.
Tourism is one of the few forms of job creation that still needs people as a medium and less from computers. The tourist trains are one more opportunity to generate jobs for all those people who are being left out of the system. So is the naval industry, where a ship requires 40% of skilled labor that is hardly replaced by robots.
We shall promote the tourist trains, as well as we shall promote tutoring about how they work, to generate opportunities that help us to include the excluded.
"We must say no to the economy of exclusion, the excluded are not even exploited, they are discarded." Pope Francis Evangelii Gaudium (2013)
Eduardo Rodriguez: Saving the Colombian Trains
We run a tourist train in Colombia’s capital Bogota, that transports tourists through the Sabana de Bogota, a mountain savanna in the Andes highland in Central Colombia. (altitude 8500 feet)
Colombian Railway History
Since the beginning of the last century, Colombia started building regional railways. In 1954, where created by the government the Colombian National Railways, these company joined all the regional railways into one big state owned railway.
· In 1990, the Colombian National Railways, a state owned and managed company was liquidated after years of fighting against the political, unions and economic environment.
. Three new companies where created:
1. STF – Railway Transport Company. Mixed company, private and state owned. Was given all the freight rolling stock and locomotives and started moving cargo. Worked for 7 years and finally went into bankruptcy in 1997.
2. FERROVIAS – In charge of the railways and their maintenance. One of the most corrupt entities in Colombian history.
3. Fondo de Pasivo Social – In charge of the social liabilities and pensions of a company that functioned for almost 80 years. It was given most of the assets and real state.
· STF and FERROVIAS where liquidated after one went into bankruptcy because the other never did it purpose of maintaining the railways. This was the end of railways and train operators in Colombia.
In 1993, in Bogota - COLOMBIA, TURISTREN was created.
A family owned company with the purpose of rescuing the heritage of old passenger trains powered by steam locomotives in Colombia.
This company has been operating the TREN TURISTICO DE LA SABANA for the last 25 years without interruption and has grown to handle special purpose trains that run daily with outstanding numbers and results.
Started operations with 1 steam locomotive and 8 passenger coaches.
With the liquidation of Colombian National Railways, all the passenger rolling stock and all the steam locomotives where auctioned to scrappers.
• In 1997 bought 9 abandoned steam locomotives from yards all around the country, from scrappers before they where torched down.
• Bought whatever spare parts where useful for our purpose.
Workshops at Estación de la Sabana
Acquired the machinery from Flandes Workshop (largest steam locomotives workshop in Colombia) needed to maintain and refurbish other locomotives.
Turistren has 5 steam locomotives in working condition and 4 more that can be restored.
The work done in this locomotives converts them in a pile of abandoned metal into a fully functioning steam locomotive. All this work has been done by our mechanics in our workshop at Bogota.
#8 is an example of this work.
Working Condition Steam Locomotives
1. # 72 Baldwin 2-8-2 1947
2. # 75 Baldwin 2-8-2 1947
3. # 76 Baldwin 4-8-0 1946 “Montaña” Specially designed for Colombian Mountains.
4. # 85 Baldwin 2-8-2 1947
5. # 8 Baldwin 2-6-0 1920
Diesel Electric Locomotives and Railcars
Since the beginnings of the company, we identified the need to have al least one Diesel powered locomotive. First, in 2010, we where able to lease 1 locomotive. In 2013 we are able to acquire 2 totally dismantled locomotives. (in pieces) and through 2013 and 2014 both of them where rebuilt at our workshops. In 2016 we rebuilt the third one, the condition of this one was better than the other two.
Locomotives #711, 723, 601 General Electric U10B 1969
In the stock of equipment to be rebuilt they where 5 units of railcars that worked with the Colombian National Railways since 1959. In 2011 begun the project of rebuilding with local technology the first railcar. This was #1676. To the date, three of these ones have been rebuilt giving us an equipment for shorter trains. Head unit and 4 coaches are around 240 passengers.
The fourth railcar is scheduled to start its rebuilding process in January 2019.
With the liquidation of the Colombian National Railways, Turistren bought from various places around Colombia all the available passenger coaches
• 8 Initial coaches in working order received initially and bought later.
• 32 additional coaches bought all over the country in abandoned condition.
• 1 cargo box car
• 1 restaurant car
• A total of 42 units
• Of this 32 have been reconstructed and are working.
• 2 in reconstruction process, programmed to enter service this December
• Capacity between 44 and 52 seats (coach seats)
• Capacity between 64 and 72 seats (university seats)
The Experience in the Train Turistico de la Sabana
• The product offered is a day trip to nearby colonial towns of Zipaquira and Cajica located 34 miles north of Bogota.
• The train departs La Sabana train station in downtown Bogota at 8:15am and from Usaquen station at 9:15 am.
• It runs through almost half the city and then through the suburbs and countryside.
• The total round trip is 106km (67 miles).
• In the train, the ride is accompanied by three live musical groups that move from coach to coach performing for the passengers.
• There`s food service at the restaurant car and waiters that get you food to your seat.
• The tourism train runs on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
• Average occupation is 500 passengers on Saturdays and 850 passengers on Sundays. Full capacity.
• At destination the passenger can either visit the Zipaquira Salt Cathedral or Nemocon Salt Mine.
• Other destinations for chartered trains include: Tocancipa, La Caro, Suesca, Samaca and Facatativa.
• Chartered trains can be customized to the client’s needs.
In 2011, the opportunity to move students to a campus located over the railway in Cajica opened a new service and option to use during the weekdays the equipment.
· Bogota’s, population is around 9 million
· Ranked sixth on the global traffic ranking (2017)
· Public transport is based on a bus model system that has collapsed
· University campuses have moved from the city to the suburbs at Bogota’s north.
· In 2011, Nueva Granada University opened a new campus in Cajica, and needed to offer its students an attractive solution to get there.
· Begun a daily weekday student service to and from the campus for exclusive use of its students and staff.
· Under the same model, nowadays Turistren is running three daily trains to three different Universities.
· Universidad de La Sabana
· Universidad El Bosque
· Universidad Nueva Granada
· Yearly contracts with each one
In these 25 years there have been several challenges that had to be faced. However with innovation, creativity and lots of work nowadays the company is in a solid position with growing numbers of trains and passengers.
Some challenges faced:
ü Converted steam locomotives from fuel oil to coal. Reduced by five the operating fuel costs.
ü Introduced Diesel powered locomotives and railcars bringing reliability and facing enviromental issues of operating steam engines.
ü By introducing non-touristic services we are generating revenue from other clients
ü Marketing alliances for special purpose trains. i.e.
v Christmas Train with Davivienda
v Stereopicnic Train with Redd’s beer
v Oktoberfest with German Chamber of Commerce
v Around Bogota with Café Sello Rojo
ü Focused on customer satisfaction with three goals:
v Total quality maintenance. No downtimes affecting the passenger.
v Staff training for providing an outstanding service.
v Management focused on efficiency and reliability, providing the tools for the correct functioning of the company.
ü Financial strength
ü Increasing rolling stock and motive equipment
ü New generation of staff in all the areas of the company. (learn the trade)
We want to have a special chapter for the Christmas train. This has been running since 2011. Moved 18000 passengers last December.
ü Since 2011, every December the Christmas train runs nightly
ü Steam engine and 14 coaches
ü 600 passengers
ü Totally illuminated
ü Fireworks at destination
ü Runs between the first Friday of December and through the first week of January
ü 30 trains, 30 nights
ü Alliance with Davivienda, a colombian bank
This a short summary of what Turistren has done in Colombia wit tourism trains and how we have faced the challenges, opportunities and adversities. Please watch the following video of our trains and Christmas event.
Thank you for your attention.
Gabriel Asenjo: Volunteer Work & Passing Skills to Future Generations
my name is Gabriel Asenjo and for those who have not yet met me, I am an Argentine mechanical technician who owns a metal company. In recent years I have devoted myself to the repair and restoration of several steam locomotives in different cities of our country both professionally and voluntarily. In addition, for more than 20 years I have been a member of various preservation associations in 3 different cities in my country and currently the vice president of one of the largest in terms of the amount of historical material in custody it holds in charge.
So, based on the experience acquired today, I am here to talk to you about voluntary work in railway preservation, particularly in the Argentine Republic.
As an introduction to this topic it is necessary to make a brief review about the Cultural particularities of our society.
The characteristics of Argentine society make voluntary work an essential and irreplaceable value for the historical preservation of the railway.
In a country with its chronic economic and social urgencies, where the investment to protect historical heritage is extremely low or directly non-existent, as in the case of the historical railway heritage, which is generally abandoned to its fate, issues such as infrastructure, stations, rolling stock, documentation have been irremediably lost.
The best chance of preservation is usually the non-profit entities popularly known as "railwayclubs", associations of friends or other NGOs that generally lack any government financial support. On the other hand, the State imposes severe bureaucratic obstacles that prevent access to goods to be preserved quickly enough to prevent their depredation.
These organizations bring together all kinds of people of different ages, from different social strata and with different cultural backgrounds, including professionals, technicians, administrators, students, retirees, etc.
The main problem in these institutions is to administer and organize this diverse labor force on the basis that the authorities that manage the institutions are also volunteers without training to lead volunteer personnel and chosen more for their commitment, talent and available time than for their managerial capacities.
To this already complex problem is added the difficulty of obtaining financing for the works and the enormous costs of protecting the goods from vandalism and predators, being a possible solution to this issue, the implementation of heritage or tourist trains whose proceeds could be entirely destined to the preservation of railway material.
This type of problem has been a constant in the experience that I have lived in the Rail clubs in the last 20 years and that surely will be very difficult to understand for those accustomed to the European culture of volunteers and preservation, but unfortunately it is a reality in our country Argentina, and by the data collected in recent times, it is also in other countries in the region.
For the Argentinean, being a volunteer is a favor that he or she does to the institution and not a privilege that the institution grants, as usually happens in culturally different countries. Starting from that assumption, the volunteer of our country is reluctant to receive directives, accept limits or abide by technical indications and, of course, make economic contributions of any kind.
So not only behaves in the manner detailed above, but also require them to be provided with the necessary elements to perform the work. It is for this reason that the Execution of Works on the part of the volunteers usually becomes anarchic and in many cases not only it does not obtain the expected results but on the contrary when carrying out actions without being qualified nor following a previously established plan, it generates greater damages than progress.
Notwithstanding the above, groups are formed whose leaders, through technical training and capacity, naturally manage to lead the rest, being able in this way to advance, achieving in some cases excellent results. In general the question is quite balanced, and at least in some of these railway clubs,
you can see good results in terms of historical preservation of railway material and several small objects with the formation of museums.
In general, these good results come at least from a successful policy of generating economic resources and leaderships that manage to minimally organize the labor force of volunteers.
Rounding up this issue in my country, which I understand has a certain resemblance with that of other countries in the region, experience shows that in the future it will be necessary to work on the management and administration of this heterogeneous labor force called "volunteers" both for the preservation work itself as well as the social task of generating economic resources and attracting new volunteers.
One of the weak points of the administration of these voluntary forces is clearly the lack of training of those who have to manage the human resource. As there is no system by which leaders and work groups are appointed, but these are formed spontaneously based on similarities such as tastes for steam, or diesel or towed cars, or simply for related ages.
The administration of Rail Clubs does not generate rules or train group leaders by understanding, as I have already mentioned, that the volunteer is reluctant to such issues. In a society where the acceptance of rules is highly resisted, in an environment where it is interpreted that activity has more to do with hobbies and recreation than the responsibility of preserving historical elements, wanting to impose them becomes a real problem.
A possible solution would then be to try to train volunteers to understand the importance of their actions on historical railway material and also to achieve the other effect that will be the central object of this talk, the " transfer of knowledge ."
At this point I will refer to the field that concerns me, which is "steam", since it is also a constant concern for me to see that fewer and fewer people are interested in accessing this knowledge, which is fundamental for preserving our steam locomotives.
It is important to understand that just as vehicles must be recovered and preserved, the preservation of knowledge and the passing-on of experience to succeeding generations is no less important. The way of conveying knowledge will depend on the object of the training, my experience has shown that three different levels of people can and should be trained to repair, maintain and operate steam locomotives.
In the case of tourist or heritage trains that run daily or weekly, the worker who performs the routine set-up and maintenance of the units must be trained. These people will require certain knowledge and experience to ensure the correct operation of the locomotive in matters such as lubrication, water supply, fuel supply, etc. It will not be necessary for this group to deepen too much in the mechanics of the locomotive and the understanding of its operation.
The second group to train will be the people in charge of repairing, adjusting or replacing the mechanics of the machine. In this case, it is necessary that the personnel who participate understand the operation of the mechanisms, the boiler and the fittings of the locomotive.
Thirdly, the metalworkers involved in the structural repair of the locomotive must be trained. In this case it will also be essential that the personnel should understand and comprehend the operation of the unit.
I emphasized the difference between "understand” and "comprehend" because experience has shown me that in field work are very different things, many mechanics understand how a mechanism works, know how to repair it and change its parts, but do not comprehend its principle of operation which prevents them from diagnosing faults and being able to correct them from the theory, which is why empiricism is often appealed to.
In the past the training of mechanical personnel was done by simple transfer of experience began as an apprentice and ended up being finally qualified mechanics for this or that operation within the machine, ie, operators were trained for jobs defined within the universe of the locomotive, without access to other tasks for which they were not trained.
At present, training people in this way is economically impossible and if we are thinking of a tourist train, sustainable operation, the number of staff should be reduced and therefore it is necessary to cover a wide range of tasks leaving aside the trade specialization that was done in the railway workshops, such as tight fitters, boilermakers, welders, etc.
The selection of the personnel to be trained must be aimed at young technicians capable of understanding concepts of thermodynamics and simple mechanics, such as connecting rod and crank mechanisms.
On the other hand, the training should have two stages, one theoretical and one practical, the latter being the longest and most valuable in terms of accumulation of experience.
One of the most important difficulties for the transfer of knowledge to young people is the lack of specific but written bibliography in Spanish. There are only a few publications written by former machinists during their working period. These books, although they are very useful, lack the necessary technical foundations to be able to deepen the tasks of rescue of steam locomotives currently abandoned.
In order to be able to implement a method of knowledge transmission I consider that in the first place as many texts in Spanish as possible should be collected, and in addition, to resort to information of European origin which should be translated into our language. Anyway, the simple obtaining of bibliography does not solve at all the problem, the best way to be able to teach to third parties the way to repair, to operate and to maintain these locomotives, is to maintain them in progress and that the young people who plan to carry out these tasks take care of them.
The method of training with today's young people should be thought of in a significantly different way from the traditionally known railway in our country.
In addition, it would be very useful, the creation of a consultation forum, could be within the page of WATTRAIN, in which the participants could express doubts or share information and experience.
I believe that WATTRAIN is a channel for transmitting information, creating discussion forums and perhaps thinking about an exchange with young people in the future, sharing experiences, information and technology above a locomotive to be repaired.
So it is now open the invitation to visit my country and share our knowledge and our repair tasks aboard a steam locomotive to all those who wish to visit us.
I am aware that everything presented in this talk will surely not be in line with the thinking of the European participants, but I find it honest and necessary to describe the reality of this activity in South America, being that it is also obvious that our continent has little participation in the formation of tourist trains, heritage and railway preservation of any kind. This is the reason why my words are especially addressed to all the present representatives of our continent, with the idea of starting to form a working group at an international level that can revert some of the situations described in this talk.
Thank you very much for your attention.
Chris LeMarshall: Volunteering
riday, November 2nd, 2018
Andrew Moritz: Transport Heritage NSW - Protection of Historical Collections
Peter Lewis: Ensuring Engineering Continuity for the Future
Eugenio Tueve: Tren del Recuerdo - the Tourist Train of Chile
Nadia Ricci (on behalf of Senator Eduardo Costa).
The Tourist Trains in The Patagonia, A challenge for new Investments.
National Deputy: Nadia Lorena Ricci.
The first trains in the Patagonian Region were established in the 1889, (in the country was in 1857) by the Welsh settlers near the Chubut River Valley. To this first branch they were added six more and four of industrial gauge. We can still find all this material in this zone.
Other trains, such as the Train of the End of the World, the “Old Patagonian Express” and the Patagonian Train are still working. Other ones are now museums, or cultural centers. Many of them promote the Railway tourism, but many are abandoned and lost too.
Río Colorado – Zapala
Patagones – Viedma – Bariloche
Ing. Jacobacci – Esquel
Puerto Madryn – Las Plumas
Comodoro Rivadavia – Colonia Sarmiento
Puerto Deseado – Las Heras
Río Turbio – Río Gallegos
Conesa – (Ingenio San Lorenzo)
Ushuaia (Tren de los Presos)
Puerto Argentino (Malvinas)
Cabo Blanco (Tren Salinero)
There are many stories to be told in the long way of 3000 kilometers of railways and one hundred stations of the Patagonian ground. Many of these places are alive thanks to the train lovers.
Today we are in the best moment for recover the train and put it in value. There are projects, Human Resources, despite that we need economical and human investments for the result we are looking for. We need to generate the Multiplier effects for contribute to the development of this industry and their cities.
It is true that every single branch has a big diversity: in their history we can find the families which its transport. In some cases the settlements of the cities have made the train disappear. In others there are families who consider the stations as a private home.
In some places, there is no trace of the trains. It is usual to find some stations that were abandoned, vandalized or dismantled.
However, as I had said before, there are many places where the people individually or collectively had worked a lot for eliminated the desolation of the Patagonian Train Stations.
Every step we made was performed with passion and commitment.
Current Ventures/ entrepreneurship in the Region
it started in 1994, because provincial government of self-management. For that time the trains were under British administration, so it was really difficult to conciliate the two types of administration. Although this fact, we can mention “The Old Patagonian Express” as an example of a successful administration.
Although, the result of this type of administration was poor, the train transports forty thousand tourists. However, it is a huge lack of local development of the structures of the train. The city of Esquel with its weekly trips to Nahuel Pan had beneficiated the Mapuche Community, who used the train´s stop to sell handcrafts and homemade food. The other train was called “The Maitén”, but unfortunately, it was an example of the success of vandalism.
We give the example of food because for travelers is something really important. We must not forgive that in the Patagonia we have to travel a lot of kilometers to arrive to everyplace. But the passion for us is more important, a couple of years ago we met Gabriel Asenjo, a train-passionate, who had fixed the steam locomotive of “La Trochita” in Rio Negro.
Other examples from the region, which has similar characteristics, are the Stations of Darwin, Pichi Mahuida, Jaramillo, Puerto Deseado, and Río Gallegos. These stations are transformed in museums or cultural centers by now.
Puerto Deseado, has worked on different alternatives to improve the local development. In 2007, the community sold a beer logo with images of the trains who reminded the 100 anniversary of their train branch. It happens that in this city the human resources to transform the national industry of the train are a constant lack. One of the examples is the “Deseado Train” whose project never was finished.
Before I continue talking about the specific area which brings me here, I would like to talk about the End of the World Train which was founded by Enrique Diaz and his brother Rubén. This trains represented the Vanguard of South America and Argentina. This couple of brothers achieved with their creativity, many goals related with the electricity problems. This case represented what Human Resources represent for the train.
The main point here is that particularly Ushuaia a tourist zone, but in other areas of Argentina these goals would be more difficult to achieve because of the lack of the activity.
The multiplier effect of the train industry is related with the transportation of tourists, the hire of employees in high season, and the selling of local hand-crafts.
Finally I would to talk of the Rio Turbio Branch: it is a relic from the 20th century, a live museum. The last steam locomotives came from the Mitsubishi in Japan in 1958, and the other which work with diesel from Bulgaria, Russia, and Romania.
The history of the branch started in 1944, when the train was built with material of different parts of the country. At this time, the nationalization of the train was a fact. However the implementation of the British administration of the train was a big mistake.
In the beginnings of the fifty´s the train used Henschel Locomotives (which were created in the 1922). At the same time they had brought 250.000 railroad ties and they have transformed 190 wagons for carrying material. The number of wagon had increased in 1961 to fifty. In 1958 they appeared the Mitsubishi wagons (800 BHP). These wagons were improved later by Shaun McMahon.
The Rio Turbio trains have different branches: 28km from the Old city to the new one (trough the city of 28 November and Rospentek). This one it will develop a passenger’s service the Saturdays and Sundays. It is important to mention that the energy of the trains come from the minery of the place. We are waiting now for 4 more wagons named “Familleureux, which comes from Belgium.
We have 3 objectives there:
a) The formation of a cooperative that develops the train.
b) Implement the National Law for the Trains workers there.
c) Select the employees who would work there and be part of the cooperative.
The Human factor here is essential, because it is the first step to multiply the positive effect of the train in the region.
Another key factor is to promote the local production of souvenirs and handcrafts. The tourist will take with them a small part of Santa Cruz, when they buy something to the local traders and artisans
The imminent creation of the Rio Turbio Cooperative, for the employees, ex-employees and relatives of the Carbon Deposits of Río Turbio, and the numerous “SMEs” would be the base to access a new investment.
For us the economic and social investment in the development of the train really matters.
Not only for the society but also for the local and economic progress of our communities.
The Patagonian Touristic Trains are a big challenge for new investments as well as for the local development. The possibilities are waiting, and to that this Organization /Wattrain and regional organizations are capable of helping a lot.
We need to improve our laws in the area, and therefore, I take the commitment as a National Deputy of the National Congress in Argentina.
My intention was be part of this congress, but because of my duty it was impossible for me to come
I hope I would find here interesting experiences of the different lectures but I am definitely sure that for the Next Congress, I would arrive here with good news about the Rio Turbio Train.
Thank you very much