National Rail Museum - Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Traveller

Train Attendant
Joined
Oct 1, 2023
Messages
68
Location
Rochford
Just this afternoon travelled across the city to visit Argentina's national rail museum, it is beautiful. Have a large number of photos but can't process them for a few hours, anyone interested?

If you want to contact the museum to get further info then address any email to Martin, he is a good English speaker and works on the museum organisation, he had answers to all my questions.

[email protected]

The outside section of the museum is closed to the public as it is being reogansied and rebuilt, forgot to ask when it will reopen.

Museum website. only in Spanish :

Museo Nacional Ferroviario
 
The main musem building holding detail exhibits.

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Model steam engine.

The original is described by Martin as enormous, it is located in the outside section. The outer areas are being completely rebuilt and were off limits when I was there.
Taking a sneak look on leaving they are constructing several new open sided buildings for the exibits and are well under way.

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Original name plates

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More to follow.
 
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Ticket Counter

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Two faced clock. It was verified it was used in Retiro and Constitucion stations Buenos Aires plus other major ones too.

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Foot operated lathe used in rail workshop(s). Have never seen one before

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A collection of LARGE spanners and wrenches. Boots at the rear of photo were large, at least size 12

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Just liked this photo, no idea what or where

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Cutaway model

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Elegant train

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Seeing all the wagon manufacturers metal plates in post 3 reminded me of also seeing many on my visit to the railway museum in Delhi, India...
I am not a fan of one country exploiting another, but it still amazes me how many former UK businesses and skilled workers have vanished over time, since these and similar products were made.
I guess the US has gone through a similar thing, with the "rust belt" contractions in certain manufacturing businesses...
 
Seeing all the wagon manufacturers metal plates in post 3 reminded me of also seeing many on my visit to the railway museum in Delhi, India...
I am not a fan of one country exploiting another, but it still amazes me how many former UK businesses and skilled workers have vanished over time, since these and similar products were made.
I guess the US has gone through a similar thing, with the "rust belt" contractions in certain manufacturing businesses...
The construction of the railways left a huge impact on Argentina.

When you travel around Argentina you find many minor stations whose architecture makes them look like cookie cutter copies of British country stations, and you could for a moment be mistaken for thinking you're on the Settle and Carlisle on a summer day. Also things like overbridges, signals and signal boxes seem to be ordered from British catalogs. The mighty Retiro station in Buenos Aires was actually built on Merseyside and shipped over in pieces.

The British companies also brought their own staff to build the railways and many stayed on to operate them. Although their decsendants have long since become fully integrated in Argentine society, it is astounding how prevalent Irish and British surnames are, especially in the smaller railway towns.
 
I'm in favour of seeing other countries' railway history, as added to the development of the railways was the introduction of football, which - especially in the case of Argentina - has become a major national identity and focus. As I remember, there are still important Argentinian club teams with names which show the link to the railway industry. The railways and football are very closely linked across the globe.
 
Next is a small selection of passenger car seating, some of it beautifully made.
I also found something that excited me, a lounge car heating stove which is a French antique. I worked on this type of stove for 20 years, this one is fairly rare.


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This stove is a C. early 1920's French L Chaboche 'La Salamandre' insert stove, designed originally to slide into a shallow fire opening (fireplace).
Initially aimed at wealthy Parisien apartment owners where it was difficult to store large quantities of the traditional heating fuel at the time, logs. La Salamandre burnt the easier to store coal and coke which had a far longer burn time too so less fuel required.
This model was the first of it's type, and gave this stove style the name of Salamandre whoever made it.
Chaboche foundry stoves were known for being well designed and built, in my view some were more rugged than well designed.
Other French foundries immediately copied this style and managed to undercut the higher price of the original, they also put more art into their designs plus often used striking coloured enamels. But they didn't always either operate as well or endure quite as long as a Chaboche.
Due to a higher price and lack of coloured enamels the La Salamandre sold fewer of this model than other large foundries, as well made as it was. It is now rare even in France.
Very surprised to find this stove so far from home and to it's credit could easily be made to operate again once one or two of the missing parts are fitted and was a thoroughly overhauled.

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This photo shows how shallow the rear section is (behind the La Salamandre casting). Perhaps as this stove used very little space and possibly the fuel used by the train itself it was seen as a good choice for a 1st class lounge?

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A highly decorated coal bucket, very doubtful that Chaboche made this. Most used in France and Belgium were cast in southern Belgium close to the iron ore and coal fields.

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I had read that the coal deliverymen carried sacks up the stairs in those five-story apartments. Now I know that was an improvement over burning wood!
I understand that besides coal, coke briquettes were also popular. I think they had a higher calorific value than coal (making them easier to carry up the stairs) and they could be stacked more neatly as well, thanks to their shape. Meaning the delivery man could fit more on his cart and also that he didn't need to weigh them but could just count them.

My grandmother used to tell me how she used to wrap briquettes in newspapers which made the fire easier to start.
 
I understand that besides coal, coke briquettes were also popular. I think they had a higher calorific value than coal (making them easier to carry up the stairs) and they could be stacked more neatly as well, thanks to their shape. Meaning the delivery man could fit more on his cart and also that he didn't need to weigh them but could just count them.

My grandmother used to tell me how she used to wrap briquettes in newspapers which made the fire easier to start.
I'm flashing back to calling on Parisiennes who lived on the 5th floor with no elevator.
 
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