Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Buenos Aires Great Southern Railway

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1870. Locomotive built by the Yorkshire Engine Co.

The Buenos Aires Great Southern Railway (BAGS) was one of the Big Four broad gauge, 5 ft 6 in, British-owned companies that built and operated railway networks in Argentina.

The company was founded by Edward Lumb in 1862 and the first general manager was Edward Banfield after whom the Buenos Aires suburban station of Banfield was named, when it opened in 1873.

The first section of the railroad (77 km from Buenos Aires to Jeppener) was inaugurated on August 14, 1865. By December it had been extended to Chascomús (113 km).

The rolling stock was composed by 8 locomotives (manufactured by Robert Stephenson and Co), 38 first and second class wagons, by Brown, Marshalls and Co and 184 wagons for freight transport.

The line was single track with the exception of the path between Constitución and Barracas, where a double track was built to facilitate the transit of the trains due to the workshops and rolling stock depots operated in Barracas.

By 1880 the GSR line reached 562 km built. The contract of concession ruled that the line should be extended to Dolores or any city determined by the National Government. The company built a branch from Altamirano to Río Salado (current General Belgrano Partido) in 1871. One year later the line extended to Las Flores and finally reached the city of Azul in 1876.

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