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near Viedma, Río Negro (Argentina)
▓▓▓▓▓ WELCOME TO THE MOST DEMANDED PATAGONIAN ADVENTURE▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓
THE PATAGONIAN ROUTE
R.95 is the only Patagonian "Transcontinental" railway line crossing Patagonia from E to W, connecting City of Viedma at the Atlantic Ocean, with City of San Carlos de Bariloche located at the Andes Mountains foothills.
It is one of the most legendary patagonian routes, and probably one of the more beatifuls here.
Due to the length of this route we have divided it into 3 parts as follows:
♦ Part I → THE COAST
♦ Part II → THE STEPPE
♦ Part III → THE MOUNTAIN
This particulat guide is only for Part I.
At the bottom we added an hiperlynk to the Part II
Part I runs 125 miles from city of Viedma to city of San Antonio Oeste, and we call it « THE GHOST TOWNS ROUTE » because here, in middle of nothing, still exists a pair of true ghost towns from beggining of XXth Century, and 3 Ghost places from the same time.
O' Connor is the most important of both ghost towns.
Here it is possible to see the old railroaders wooden houses, made with sleepers, the old corrugated steel passenger station, and the Thomas Piggott watertank for steam locos.
Curiously a track MOW crew is based here, and one of the members is the only unhabitant here.
Of course, scenery here is pure Patagonian desert, with... no population.
If you are alert, probably you would see here guanacos and choiques at the side of our tracks. Note that this are protected animals here.
Part I is normally covered by the «Patagónico», and somethimes by the «Expreso Río Negro».
This is a vintage diesel train with argentine, dutch, french, spanish, portuguese and japanese rolling stock from the '50's, '60s and '70's.
Consist is, normally, the following:
♦ 1 vintage diesel main locomotive. (Could be Alco RSD-16 from 1957 or EMD GT-22 from 1985, or EMD JT-26 serie 319 "Renfe" from 1991.
♦ 1os 2 Autoracks.
♦ 0 to 1 vintage diesel helper loco.
♦ 1 combined baggage / power Fiat Concord 1972 car.
♦ 1 or 2 Fiat Concord sleepers.
♦ 1 Fiat Concord 1972 or Carel & Fouché 1955 restaurant.
♦ 0 to 1 Fiat Concord 1972 1st Class salon coach or a FIat Concord 2nd Class salon.
♦ 1 to 3 2 HItachi 1962 Pullmans.
«Expreso Río Negro»
It is a 2018 built Materfer serie 650 DeMU duplet.
♦ Pullman motor pilot coach.
♦ Pullman trailer pilot coach.
R.95 Part III is also covered by the loved train Nº 383/384 «Expreso de la Estepa».
Of course, this is not a conventional train, because it is the famous spanish TER train. In fact an historic Fiat serie 597 from 1965. This is a duplet DMU, conformed as follows:
♣ Economic Class pilot motor coach.
♣ Economic Class trailer with café departament.
You will see more info by opening parts II and III.
Came with us to ride one of the most fantastic Patagonian experiences..
Follows on part 2
This is a grup of local farms
Somethimes open to tourist
A nice place for birdwatchers.
One of the most important parrots colony you can see in America.
This is the most important sea wolfs reservoirs in all America
A impressive scenic road running paralel to a cliff.
This is the first and northernmost patagonian lighthouse.
A nice beach with a big tidal wave, located at the Río Negro estuary side.
This is Viedma main square.
The Governor house itself.
This is the Municipalty historical building
This is a historical city block containing some historical buildings.
This is the downtown square.
This pier acts as a little port for shuttle ships connecting Viedma with Carmen de Patagones.
They operate in a regular service.
Open Mondays to Fridays from 8am to 8pm.
Saturdays, Sundays and non labourable days from 12am to 6pm.
This is the municipalty culture building.
Located at Gallardo St. Nº 550.
The new road brigde connecting city of Viedma with Carmen de Patagones.
This is the historical steel lifting brigde connecting city of Viedma with Carmen de Patagones.
It is dual mode, so can operate road and railroad traffic.
It is the only railroad lifting brigde in all Patagonia, but it is important to mention lifting system is not longer operative, because it is not neccesary on modern times..
The brigde was built in 1937, and the lifting system... is not conventional
This is the city buses terminal.
It is an old plate railway brigde located over Provincial Route Nº 1
During steam times this pier was used by ships to transfer coal to railway wagons to be later used by locomotives.
It is not longer operative
In the past on this place were located the mainteinance sheed of a special fleet of fast DMU's
Some historical rolling stock can be seen here somethimes
Just the historic turntable itself
Here is the ramp to load automobiles on board the train
This is the local airport, located only 2km from the railway station
A lonely steel brigde located in middle of nowhere in the desert.
The first ghost station is this.
Nothing here. Just empty space.
The second ghost station you will pass.
This is a complete and original ghost town from beginning of the XXth Century.
Wooden houses, an corrugated steel passenger building and the water tank can be seen at the north side.
A MOW unit is based here.
Somethimes train stops here to assist the lonely track unit.
Inversion triangle in middle of nothing
Vintter is not a cnventional ghost station, because from here you have a strange and nice view to the ocean, located 30km away.
Looking South it is possible to see the deep blue ocean making a atrong contrast with the yellow desert, giving this a unique visual composition
Here you have a very unusual scenery for a railway.
With high tide you will see sea water very near the tracks.
But on low tide all the bay turns dry, and if you pay attention you will see crabs holes between the brushes.
Here starts the Alpat industrial branch
Here we repair our locomotives, and here we assembled our first locos in 1908
This is San Antonio Oeste passenger station
Here is were the Patagonian railway started in 1908
This was our beggining in 1908
This is the old San Antonio beach, located at the inner part of the bay
This is the name given to the big beaches located at the open sea.
This beachs are very big, and a very nice place to walk
SAO still has some classic houses and buildings from beginning of the XXth Century.