Development of Modern Steam 3: the Rio Turbio Railway and GPCS

This White Paper, which covers the history of the Rio Turbio Railway and the Gas Producer Combustion System, provides an in-depth look into one of the most unique railroad operations of the Twentieth Century.

With a track gauge of only 750 mm (2'-5.5"), the Rio Turbio Railway, or " Ramal Ferro Industrial de Rio Turbio" (RFIRT), operated with a fleet of 20, 2-10-2 type steam locomotives of advanced design. Arriving on the property in the late 1950's to address a series of mechanical issues with the locomotives, Engineer L.D. Porta's work on the railroad led to advances in combustion, maintenance, and boiler designs, laying the foundation for advanced steam work which followed across the globe.

This White Paper also features collaboration with the Center for Railroad Photography and Art, a not-for-profit that has worked with CSR in the past in providing education and outreach.  This White Paper features images that CRPA graciously provided out of its vast Fred M. Springer Collection of images.  Thanks are also due to Ben Anderson and Jim Hebson for their photographs and narrative from an adventure they took to Argentina in 1991. Finally, many thanks to William E. Botkin, who graciously provided CSR permission to publish the cover image of this paper.