Sandstone Steam Railroad - Rail News

RN 30 - 'save a historic loco - disturbing developments' with link to

Help save an important loco from the scrapper's torch

More than 40 years after being withdrawn from service one of the most important locomotives of the 20th Century now has a very precarious future. Following the closure of the museum in which she was displayed the locomotive has been dumped in a disused loco shed at the mercy of thieves who are stealing parts for sale as scrap metal.

The locomotive is the first locomotive designed by the world renowned steam engineer Dante Livio Porta, who died in 2003. Named Argentina, it is a metre gauge 4 cylinder compound 4-8-0 of a streamlined futuristic design, one of the most striking and memorable of all time. Porta worked with other well known steam engineers to improve the steam locomotive, leading to the production of such locomotives as the Class 26 Red Devil and NGG 16A 141 and 155, of which Sandstone Heritage Trust has the latter in its collection.. There were other locomotives around the world which owe their success to Porta's input.

A fund has been started to raise GBP 10 000 to move the locomotive from the closed museum at Tucuman to Buenos Aires by road for safe keeping, with the longer term aim of returning her to steam, but this cannot be done without the move going ahead quickly. An experienced road haulage firm has quoted a price and preparations are well in hand for the move once the funds have been raised.

One of the Sandstone Heritage Trust directors recently visited Argentina for three months and developed a good awareness for what is going on there and the enthusiasm of the band of people involved.

Sandstone Heritage Trust recognizes the importance of this locomotive in world steam terms and although its primary focus is Southern Africa has donated GBP 500 to assist in the success of this project.

For more details and how to contribute go to