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RAILWAYS OF THE WORLD

AUSTRALIA RAILWAYS: CAIRNS KURANDA SCENIC RAILWAY - COUNTRY LINK CANBERRA HERITAGE RAILWAY - NORTH WILLIAMSTOWN RAILWAY MUSEUM PUFFING BILLY - QUEENSLAND RAILWAYS - SEYMOUR TO BENALLA RAILWAY SKYRAIL - VICTORIAN GOLDFIELDS RAILWAY - ZIG ZAG RAILWAY - 707 GROUP - 3801
TRAVEL ARTICLES : BRISBANE - SYDNEY - MELBOURNE - WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS

TASMANIA RAILWAYS: DON RIVER RAILWAY - DERWENT VALLEY RAILWAY - HOBART TRANSPORT MUSEUM - SHEFFIELD RAILWAY - WEST COAST WILDERNESS RAILWAY TASMANIA TRAVEL ARTICLES

NEW ZEALAND RAILWAYS: ARTHURS PASS - AUCKLAND MUSEUM OF TRANSPORT (MOTAT) FERRYMEAD MUSEUM OF TRANSPORT - GLENBROOK RAILWAY - KINGSTON FLYER
MAINLINE STEAM AUCKLAND TO WELLINGTON AND PICTON TO INVERCARGILL - PLAINS RAILWAY PLEASANT POINT RAILWAY - TAIERI GORGE RAILWAY - WEKA PASS RAILWAY
NEW ZEALAND TRAVEL ARTICLES - MILFORD SOUND - T.S.S. EARNSLAW - ROTORUA

PERU RAILWAYS - PERURAIL - F.C.C.A. - CENTRAL RAILWAY - SOUTHERN RAILWAY
CUSCO AND SANTA ANA RAILWAY - HUANCAYO AND HUANCAVELICA RAILWAY YAURICOCHA RAILWAY - CERRO DE PASCO - ENAFER

ECUADOR RAILWAYS - FERROCARRILL ECUATORIANA
E.F.E. - E.N.F.E. - GUAYAQUIL & QUITO - QUITO & SAN LORENZO
DURAN - YAGUACHI - BUCAY - HUIGRA - SIBAMBE - ALAUSI - RIOBAMBA - URBINA - EL BOLICHE - TAMBILLO - QUITO
IBARRA - PRIMER PASO - LITA - EL PROGRESO - SAN LORENZO

IRISH RAIL - NORTHERN IRELAND RAILWAYS - TRALEE AND BLENNERVILLE STEAM RAILWAY
ENGLAND - FFESTINIOG RAILWAY - GREAT ORME TRAMWAY - SCOTLAND

EUROPEAN RAILWAYS : HARZER-SCHMALSPUR-BAHNEN-RASENDER ROLAND - MOLLI GERMAN STEAM RAILWAYS - CZECH RAILWAYS - MAJORCAN RAILWAYS
MOROCCO RAILWAYS - NORWAY RAILWAYS - POLISH RAILWAYS
ROMANIAN RAILWAYS - SPANISH RAILWAYS - SLOVAK RAILWAYS

Updated : 12th. April 2008

ECUADOR RAILWAYS - ENFE
FERROCARRILLES ECUATORIANOS
GUAYAQUIL AND QUITO RAILROAD

THE DEVILS NOSE.

The Devils Nose between Riobamba and Sibambe is one of the great engineering wonders of the world. Faced with literally lifting the railway some 3,000 feet they just built it straight up the mountain.

The line sees passenger service three days per week. Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, leaving Riobamba at 0700 leaving Alausi at 1100 and arriving Sibambe at 1140. The return leaves at 1200, stops for almost an hour in Alausi leaving at 1330 and arrives in Riobamba about 1700. As there is a shortage of passenger coaches they use box vans and passengers ride on the roof giving fantastic opportunities for photographs. In Ecuador most people ride on the roof of trains. Wonder what Health and Safety here would say if we tried it!

It literally goes straight up the mountain. This photo shows three track levels and the climb is accomplished by an average gradient of 1 in 22 and two zig-zags. The line climbs from Sibambe on the bottom some 821 metres (approx 1700 feet) in 11.8 kilometres (7.4 miles) which is quiet a gradient for an adhesion railway. You can see from the photo that the railway is just cut out of the side of the mountain and the view from the roof of the train is both exciting and fantastic.

The trip starts in the railway town of Alausi where you can see three of the four sections that were out on the line. 1992 Alsthom diesel - one of two serviceable in Riobambe - is waiting to take the "mixto" train to Sibambe while behind it is BaldwinSteam loco No. 17 with a boxcar and passenger coach. Also visible is railcar No. 95.

The town of Alausi nestle in the side of the hill with the railway running down the mountains from top to bottom. It really only comes to life three days a week when the trains go through.

Another picture of the 1992 Alsthom diesel.

Another view of Loco 17.

And Railcar 97 rebuilt in 1994 with a Cummins L10 engine. It is a Thomas Bluebird school bus body, built by Carroceria in Guayquil under licence, on a double bogie chassis built by ENFE itself.

Then we have what is clcally called the "circus wagon" because of its livery which is a rebuilt railcar on old bogies with a modern body and again a Cummins engine. This is owned and operated by Metropolitan Touring Company of Quito who organise their own trips on the line. ENFE charge USD 12 whereas Metropolitan charge USD 82!

Leaving Alausi we can see the descent before us.

If one looks carefully in this photo, one can see the steam train at the bottom of the gorge and the railcar on its way up.

Here is a view of the Railcar on the Alausi curve with some very happy passengers travelling "Roof" class! There is no extra charge for this class of travel.

Our driver Gilberto on the right and his No. 2, Gonzales (centre), take a break. In the background is the steam train. Everything is very casual.

Through the trees one can see the mixto coming down the mountain.

One does of course have to keep a lookout for obstacles on the track such as Llamas!

Another view of the steam train on its way down.

Theer are three section s in this photo. Leading up is the railcar followed by the steam train in turn followed by the circus wagon. The signalling system is so good it allows trains at every three seconds which means they can travel less than one hundred yards apart.

Landslides and boulders are another hazard so out gets No. 2 to move them. All trains are equipped with landslide equipment and of course full rerailing equipment in the likely event of a derailment.

Another view of the type of terrain involved.

This clearly shows the altitude drop for the line with three levels of track visible.

A rear view of the steam train in all of its 1800's glory!

The inside of the passenger coach which is very American in design.

The Mixto is now approaching the meet. It is what you might call "kind-a-full" upstairs!

See what I mean! It puts a whole new meaning on the expression "standing room only"!

Braking control is by the traditional U.S. method of a brakeman on every coach generally on the roof as can be clearly seen in this photo. Things like through vacuum or air brakes have yet to be invented.

It really clings to the side of the mountain! This is just befoee a zig zag and you can see the other track descending and the gradient is clearly visible.

The view from the rear platform is exhilarating!

Getting nearer the zig zag.

The railcar at the same point. Again the gradient is very clear.

This is the view from the zig zag to the bottom. The derelict station of Sibambe is clearly visible as is the now unused continuation of the line to Huigra. One the left is the remains of the old line to Cuenca. The Huigra line will be reopened within the next year but the line to Cuenca is totally gone due to landslides and washouts.

Loco 17 with its train at Sibambe.

On its way back up the Nose.

Arriving Alausi.