Ferrocarril Central Andino

Ferrocarril Central Andino

Heritage Railway
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Ferrocarril Central Andino (FCCA) is the consortium which operates a railway in Peru linking the Pacific port of Callao and the capital Lima with Huancayo and Cerro de Pasco. It is the second highest railway in the world (after the line to Tibet), with La Cima station at 4818 meters (15,807 feet) above sea level.

In July 1999 the government awarded a consortium led by Railroad Development Corporation (RDC) of Pittsburgh, USA, a concession to operate the former Ferrocarril del Centro for 30 years. Investors in Ferrocarril Central Andino include RDC, Juan Olaechea & Company, Minas Buenaventura, ADR Inversiones, and Inversiones Andino. [cite web | title=RDC operating entities | url=http://www.rrdc.com/op_peru_fcca.html | publisher="Railroad Development Corp" | accessdate 2007-09-08]

Route

The line starts at Callao port city and goes through Lima parallel to the Rímac River. It crosses into Junín state via the Galera Tunnel, the highest railroad tunnel in the world. It reaches La Oroya, where it splits in two: the southern branch goes to Huancayo, while the northern branch goes into Pasco state, through Cerro de Pasco (the state capital) to the Goyllarisquizga coal mines. Formerly a branch split off at Cerro de Pasco and ran into Pachitea Province in Huánuco state.

In June 2006, the Peruvian government agreed that FCCA should go ahead with converting the RailGauge|914 gauge Huancayo - Huancavelica line to RailGauge|1435 gauge. Estimated to take 16 months, the US$33m project will be funded jointly by the government and the Andean Development Corporation. [cite news | title=Huancavelica upgrade | publisher = "Railway Gazette International" | accessdate = 2007-09-08 | date=2006-06-01 | url = http://www.railwaygazette.com/news_view/article/2006/06/3802/huancavelica_upgrade.html] [ [http://www.trainsunlimitedtours.com/great-south-american-rail-adventure.html Great South American Rail Adventure ] ]

RDC has suggested the building of a 21 km, US$400m tunnel in the Andes, to reduce the spectacular 332 km Lima - Huancayo journey to 4 hours. [ RailwaysAfrica 15 June 2006]

History

In 1851, engineer Ernest Malinowski proposed to extend the Lima-to-Callao railroad as far as the valley of Jauja. Malinowski, a Polish ex-pat, was voluntarily exiled in Peru by political questions in his country, occupied at that time by Germany, Russia and Austria.

The government commissioned Felipe Barreda, Mariano Felipe Peace Soldánm, and Brown Manuel to report in detail on the project. This commission devised a detailed plan for the railroad which, after approval by the Peruvian Congress, was integrated with the Malinowski proposal.

The Peruvian Congress named a new commission to make recommendations on alternate construction plans. This second commission delivered a meticulous report of the four possible routes that it had explored and evaluated:
* By the gorge of the Rímac River, starting in Lima and proceeding through Matucana, San Mateo and Tarma.
* By the gorge of the Chillón River, from Lima, through Horseman, Yangas, Obrajillo, Casachanca and Carhuacancha
* Along the Chancay River, from Lima, through Chancay, Macas, Huamantanga, Huaillay and Cerro de Pasco
* Along the Lurín River, from Lima, through Lurín, Sisicaya, Tupicocha, San Damián, Tuctucocha, Pumacocha, Basket, Tarma and Jauja.

According to the report, construction of the proposed line was possible but difficult by Rímac gorge, almost impossible by Chillón gorge, impossible by the Chancay, but very easy by the Lurín. This last option was the choice of engineer Gerrit Backus, reputed to be one of the most able professionals in the design and construction of railway routes. This third phase lasted until March 1866 when work stopped due to the war with Spain.

In 1868, Don Diego Masías brought in Henry Meiggs, a North American who had been a contractor in both New Jersey and in Chile, who had been working in Chile. The audacious Meiggs, after some negotiation, appeared before the government on 21 September of that year proposing to design and construct a railroad between Lima and Jauja. Meiggs reportedly told the government, "I will place rails there, where the flames walk." The studies were approved and, with a construction budget that had climbed to 27 million pounds, Meiggs' proposal was accepted. The contract specified that work had to be completed within six years and would be financed by the sale of special bonds, with an annual interest of 6% and amortization of 2% ten years after their sale.

The contract was finalized and signed on December 23, 1869.

Construction began in January 1870 with an elaborate ceremony in which the first stone in the present Monserrate station in Lima was placed. The work began under the direction of Malinowski, head of the Technical Body, and fellow Polish engineer Edward Jan Habich.

Locomotives

In 2006 FCCA began a program to convert five General Electric C30-7 locomotives and two GE B39 locos to run on compressed natural gas and diesel fuel. [cite news | title=Climbing the Andes with dual fuel power | publisher = "Railway Gazette International" | author=Jack A Roberson | accessdate = 2007-09-08 | date=2006-07-01 | url = http://www.railwaygazette.com/news_view/article/2006/07/4428/climbing_the_andes_with_dual_fuel_power-1.html]

Traffic

Traffic includes minerals, fuels, cement and food products.

Tourism

The route has very beautiful landscapes of the Peruvian Andes. Currently FCCA makes several turistic trips a month to Huancayo [http://www.ferrocarrilcentral.com.pe/en_turismo.html]

See also

* Transportation in Peru
* Trans-Andean Railways
* Ferrocarril Huancayo - Huancavelica
* Railroad Development Corporation
* Empresa nacional de ferrocarriles del Peru
* Ferrocarril del sur de Peru Arequipa - Puno

References

External links

* [http://www.rrdc.com/op_peru_fcca.html Central Railway of Peru - RDC page in English]
* [http://www.ferrocarrilcentral.com.pe/ Central Railway - Official site - Spanish]
* [http://www.rrdc.com/images/map_fcca_new.gifMap, Callao - Huancavelica]


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