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Locomotive depot of the Temuco Railroad Station

Date of Submission: 01/09/1998
Criteria: (iv)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Council of National Monuments
Coordinates: Temuco: Long. 72°37' W ; Lat. 38°44' S
Ref.: 1200
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Railroad officially arrived at Temuco the very first day of 1893. It is believed that the first locomotive depot was located a few meters to the north of the present one, in lots handed over to the State Railroad Company by mapuche people. Temuco turned into an important railroad center, where long-run trains changed locomotives. That depot also housed the locomotives of the trains covering the branch lines to towns such as Carahue, Cunco and Cherquenco. During the first decades of this century, complex locomotive repair and maintenance works were perfommed in the Temuco locomotive depot. After the San Bernardo Machine Shop started operating in 1920, the Temuco depot kept on doing uncomplicated repairs. By 1930, the insufficiency of the original depot became ever so evident, so the construction of a new one -that existing at present- was decided. The construction was made in two stages, between 1937 and 1941; at first, the new depot complemented, without replacing, the old one. Until 1954, only steam locomotives were serviced in Temuco; from that year on, diesel machines started being repaired. By 1980, the permanent allocation of the complex consisted in two type 56 steam locomotives, eleven type 57, one type 58, nine type 70, and fourteen type 80. In 1982, the State Railroad Company's management ordered the constitution of a steam-drive reserve fleet with base in Temuco. On account of this, during the following years, tens of locomotives there housed were repaired. The fireboxes of the last locomotives went out definitively by the end of 1983, fact which, in turn, signaled the end of the locomotive depot's normal operation. The precincts kept on being used for doing minor repairs and for the remarshall of diesel locomotives, type D-16000 and others, and as operational base for tracks maintenance works. The Temuco depot was the steam locomotives operational base that ceased to operate later in the country. The locomotive depot and the rolling stock it houses are property of the State Railroad Company. It occupies an area of about 19 hectares, one kilometer to the north of the Temuco Railroad Station. It is a railroad complex whose essential component is the round, roofed depot made of concrete. It has 34 tracks su rrounding a 27 meters long tu rntable . capable of rotating a type 80 locomotive, with tender, weighing over 160 tons. Near to the round depot there are a repair workshop, administrative offices, dressing rooms for the personnel, a large coal elevator for charging fuel into the locomotives' tenders, a coal deposit, and a coach repair shop.