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Reports have appeared locally that steam may be introduced as part of a plan to develop the area for tourism.
Click here for one such (Spanish language) report (3rd June 2000).
As a development of the news about the Rio Turbio system in the two paragraphs that follow (7th September 2004), Locomotives International 71 carried a report - since confirmed by other correspondents - that the railway is considering reintroducing steam power owing to the soaring cost of diesel and the poor condition of their locomotives.
The country is in a poor economic state and conventional alternatives like buying newer, more fuel efficient diesels is not an option.
Shaun Mc Mahon is reported to be working on the project which will see 116 (actually 107) and then 119 returned to service.
Shaun has now sent me a news release detailed ambitious development plans for the Rio Turbio system (2nd November 2004), including a possible international link to Chile.
This is a 500mm gauge (narrow gauge or miniature according to your point of view) running out of Ushuaia into a national park in the deep south of the country - it carries large numbers of tourists many of whom arrive in cruise liners. Jack Neville sent a report of a November 2014 visit (23rd December 2014) Currently it has 3 steam locomotives on the roster: For some time Shaun Mc Mahon was chief engineer here and as such was involved in ensuring that the steam locomotives were modified to reflect best 'modern' practice as far as was practical.
Congratulations to Gabriel Asenjo of G&G and Shaun Mc Mahon as part of INTI for all the hard work they have put in to get this project so far in a relatively short time. Local magazine Tren Rodante ( - link found broken on 27th October 2017) had an article in edition 202 which covers this, but also an illustrated historical (Spanish language) article on RFIRT (3rd November 2015).
A further November press release has now appeared (27th November 2015), followed by news up till the end of the year (13th February 2015)..
A set of pictures is now also available on this site (extra picture, 20th June 2015).
Progress is such that 119 has now had its boiler refitted as seen in these pictures supplied by Shaun Mc Mahon (28th August 2015).
I have now added two press releases and more pictures on progress from June and August 2015 (updated 14th September 2015).