The Yatay locomotive is a steam locomotive that was manufactured in 1888 by the Neilson Reid & Co. company in Glasgow, Scotland, being acquired by the Ferrocarril Nordeste Argentino (F.C.N.E.A.).
It is one of the oldest locomotives in the Argentine Republic, and since the 1980s it has been under the custody, restoration and conservation of the Lynch Preservation Center (CDP) of the Argentine Ferroclub.
Origins & History
This locomotive was built in 1888 by the Scottish company Neilson Reid & Co. and acquired by the Ferrocarril Nordeste Argentino (F.C.N.E.A.) for the traction of short and long distance passenger trains, belonging to a batch of 36 units (four of them destined for the maneuvering service), which had the following characteristics: Stephenson distribution mechanism (internal), saturated steam tube-fired boiler with 145 small tubes of 44.45 mm diameter, pressure 9.48kg/cm², heating surface 70.72 m², two cylinders of 35.6 cm in diameter and flat valves, pulling power to the hook of 4849 kgm, the capacity of the tender is 6,300 L of water and 4,500 kg of coal or firewood, total empty weight 38,405 kg and in service 53,442 kg.
From the factory they were baptized with different names in addition to their corresponding number (number 69 according to the numbering of Ferrocarriles Argentinos) and of this series currently 6 locomotives are preserved, in different condition, one of them being the Yatay locomotive.
In Argentina, it originally provided services in the province of Corrientes, covering its entire route, highlighting that it had an excellent performance when the railway reached Santo Tomé, Santa Fe and later channeled communications to Posadas, Misiones, when the territory was waiting for the arm of the man in need of connection to become one of the most productive regions of Argentina. It also served throughout the Argentine Mesopotamia, first on the Argentine Northeast Railway, and after the nationalization of the railways, on the Urquiza Railway.
Its great reliability and robustness is due to its long useful life, which ended in the late 1970s and early 1980s, although in its last years its area of operations had extended to all of Mesopotamia and its services were limited to maneuvers.
Over time, several units underwent a series of modifications, such as the placement of a "Belpaire" (with larger heating surface) type boiler with a fireplace, a "Detroit" type hydrostatic lubricator was adopted, and a 24 Vdc steam electric generator was also incorporated.
The entire series had its own name and five of them were placed with a front stand, one of them was Yatay No. 11 which, after more than 90 years of service and having been transmitted, marked a historical milestone.
In September 1982, it arrived at the Lynch headquarters of the General Urquiza Railway, to be handed over to the Argentine Ferroclub.
After an arduous restoration work and brought to the scheme that was used in the railway of the British capital by the members of the club, he participated in 1983 in the Retiro railway exhibition, and from there he developed his activity hand in hand with the Ferroclub taking the historic train, made up of later restored relics, to various corners of Mesopotamia in celebrations in towns such as Gualeguaychú, Basavilbaso and Gualeguay, being an emblem of the conservation of the railway in Argentina and one of the oldest operating locomotives in the world, carrying out the aforementioned facts and taking tourists to the Buenos Aires countryside for several years.
The Yatay locomotive reminds us that the Argentine Railways have an indisputable precedent; these begin with the beginning of the colonization and the peaceful conquest of Argentina, their arrival in the hostile and untamed pampas, pointed the way for human settlements, which later became large cities and today channel their production towards large consumption centers.
For the last week of August 2007, the 150th anniversary of the Argentine Railways, the Yatay locomotive was taken to La Rural in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and was exhibited along with various rolling stock.
Since March 2010, the locomotive has undergone a major boiler and accessory repair, reviewing and repairing all of its assemblies.
- Magazine "La Fraternidad" (Bi-monthly publication edited by "La Fraternidad", Society of Railway Locomotive Personnel), Nº 1283, September-October 1988.
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