FolkestoneJack's Tracks

The coal man cometh

Posted in Brazil, Tubarão by folkestonejack on July 10, 2013

Our delivery of coal was expected first thing in the morning but none of us were terribly surprised to awake to the news that it had not arrived. Nevertheless, we were re-assured to hear that the driver had set off from the depot at 6.30am.

In the absence of steam we headed out to the Ponte de Congonhas to take a photograph of a diesel freight that was expected to leave Tubarão around 10.30am. On reaching our spot the news filtered through that the diesel had problems! There would be a little delay…

EMD G12 diesel-electric locomotive no. 4287

EMD G12 diesel-electric locomotive no. 4287

The diesel freight was impressive when it turned up – a triple headed working with about 55 wagons. Although this would normally have passed straight through, the railway had kindly arranged to stop the train so that we could drive a short distance to a different spot to get a second photograph.

Triple-headed diesel freight on the Ponte de Cononhas

Triple-headed diesel freight on the Ponte de Cononhas

After our diesel interlude we headed back to the museum where we were unsurprised to learn that the coal had not yet arrived. We started to wonder what the next news would be – the driver has lost his keys? lost his licence? Nothing could be ruled out! The good news was that the museum was 100% ready for the delivery, having already emptied the tender of the wrong coal. Our loco (Santa Fe no. 205) was in light steam and a loader was primed to tackle the coal when it arrived. It was just a waiting game now.

A long lunch at a local buffet helped to pass the time, though there was still no sign of the delivery when we returned to the museum. We started to wonder whether the driver was coming all the way from Sao Paulo or some other far flung spot. Finally, the coal truck arrived just after 1.30pm.

Now, the day could begin in earnest…

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