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Manning Wardle NG locos

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by Dumphrey, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. Dumphrey

    Dumphrey New Member

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    Bronllwyd is a great addition to our "Hunslet group" fleet of locomotives.
    Ideally we could do with a Manning Wardle, so if anyone knows of one going spare?!

    Back in August ’10, when opening the ‘Bronllwyd’ thread, Henry (Noon) made the above comments which prompted me to look into the manufacture & distribution of MW locos of less than 3ft. gauge. Most of MW’s output of NG locos was of 3ft and over.
    Of a total manufacture of 2049 locos (plus 29 built by Kitson & 5 by RSH):
    147 were broad gauge
    418 were narrow gauge; of these only 133 were of less than 3 ft gauge and of the 133
    - 26 were of 18” gauge, 1 of 20”, 2 of 2’ 8”, 5 of 2’ 9” & 2 of 2’ 11⅛” (890mm) leaving 97 locos of between 1’ 11” and 2’ 6” gauge the majority being either a nominal 2’ or 2’ 6”.
    We have to accept that the vast majority of those 97 locos no longer exist, so what do we know that do?
    In the UK, there are two: 1382 (1897) ‘Jubilee 1897’ in the NGM at Tywyn and 1877 (1915) ‘Chevalier’.
    Anthony Coulls brought our attention to 1864 (1915) ‘Nellie’ in the Sierra Leone NRM and 1583 (1902) is currently resident at Gold Reef City theme park in Johannesburg.
    One other occasionally creeps into reports; 1901(1915) 2-8-2WT ‘Don Carlos’ (2’ 6”), usually running without the front pony truck, at Puerto Casada in Paraguay. This is a remote region of the Paraguayan chaco, only reachable by river steamer or very occasional flights; the last reliable report seems to be from 2009. It has also featured in several of Colin Garratt’s photo publications.
    Apart from the probably mythical existence of ‘Lew’, I thought that was the total of extant examples until a chance browsing, of back numbers of ‘The Narrow Gauge’, highlighted an article concerning a pretty exhausting trip, made by an American enthusiast, to a remote town in Chihuahua province of Mexico by the name of Chínipas de Almada. I’m not sure where he started from but it took 20 hrs of 4WD travel to reach.
    There he found the reasonably intact remains of two 2’ 6” gauge MWs that had been operated for the Palmarejo & Mexican Goldfields. Research determined that one was one of a pair of 0-6-0Ts, 1156 ‘Zapote’ & 1157 ‘Palmarejo’ (1889) and the other 2-4-2T 1609 (1903). They had all been shipped in parts and assembled on site. The first pair were purchased by the Mexican Mineral Railway and the other directly by the goldfield company.
    A search for Chínipas de Almada on Google Earth turned up some photos of the town, three of which show one of the 0-6-0s and the 2-4-2 stuffed and plinthed in the town. There is no indication as to which of the 6-coupled tanks is there and so far I can find no information as to the fate of the other loco. I tried to contact the American who wrote the article; he was the Director of the Great Plains Museum in Oklahoma but on retirement he left the area and no one knows where he went.

    Apart from the above missing loco there is a mystery concerning a follow up order for three of the 2-8-2WTs for the same Argentinian (or an associated) company that operated the original in Paraguay. These locos, 1991/2/3 (1920) were shipped by Price, Cardew & Rider Co. of Buenos Aires, to the Forestal Railway & Timber Co. of Argentina. (The Forestal company, British owned, has an unfortunate reputation for an environmental disaster of virtually total destruction of the quebracho forests in the northern Argentinian chaco and consequent economic devastation.) There is apparently no record of the locos arriving and it seems that nobody has any further relevant knowledge of them.

    If anyone can throw any light on any of the above or has any bright ideas on where to go from here (short of a very expensive and uncomfortable expedition), I would be delighted to hear of them.

    Ian
     
  2. Richieboy

    Richieboy New Member

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    Hi Ian,

    I am sure you may well have seen the photo's on here, but I am guessing they are the ones you are talking about?

    http://www.steamlocomotive.com/lists/search.php?str=&country=MEX

    If you scroll down to Chihuahua there are a couple of loco's listed, with snaps beside.

    I do like the look of the 2-4-2, I would love to know more about that!

    The photographer is listed if that helps?

    Best regards,

    Rich.
     
  3. Martin Coombs

    Martin Coombs New Member

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    The late Reg Carter's Argentine Industrial Locomotives list suggests that these three locos carried names as well as running numbers, 1991 being 80 'Las Chunas', 1992 being 81 'Las Ganas', and 1993 82 "La Aurora'. He also lists these locos as having bogie tenders (presumably for wood fuel) despite being well tanks. If, as you say, there is no record of them arriving in the Chaco, then I assume they must have been fitted with those numbers and names on completion, and recorded as such in the MW records.

    Reg gives no further details, such as scrapping dates, so it would seem that he knew no more than you about their later existence. A check in 'Railways of South America: Part I: Argentina'. (William Rodney Long (& George S. Brady?), U.S. Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce - Trade Promotion Series No. 32, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 1926) might confirm whether the locos did in fact arrive. The British Library in St. Pancras has a copy.

    I will be out in Argentina later this spring and would love to do a bit of searching, but unfortunately have a busy schedule which does not really allow for an open-ended search in the far north. I wonder if any Argentine NG enthusiast, such as Jorge Garreta Mendoza, would be able to tell you more.

    Martin Coombs
     
  4. Dumphrey

    Dumphrey New Member

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    Thanks, Martin for those two possible leads. I'll see if I can follow them up over the next couple of weeks.
    I think the lococ may have been fitted with nameplates by MW as Fred Harman has them listed in the works list in Vol.3 of his Mw monograph. Another thought was that their may have been a shipping disaster and they never actually arrived!
    More digging.

    Ian
     

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