Historic locomotives on display are spruced up

Workers have restored two historic steam locomotives that are on display at the Estación al Pacifico in San José. Both are U.S. machines that helped Costa Rica grow.

The restoration was by the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud’s Centro de Investigación y Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural. The agency said it spent 18.9 million colons, about $35,700 to remove all the rust and take paint off of brass parts.

The two locomotives are the Gandoca and the María Cecilia, both owned by the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles. In addition, deteriorating wooden parts were replaced.

Dickson Manufacturing Co. in Scranton, Pennsylvania, built the María Cecilia in 1904, according to authoritative online sources. The engine in Costa Rica is one of only two of this type in the world. The second is in Louisiana. The engine is 2-4-0, meaning it has two leading wheels, four drive wheels and no trailing wheels.

A.M. Costa Rica archives say that Minor Keith brought the steam engine to the country for the Pacific line.

The Gandoca is older. The Centro said that the  Baldwin Locomotive Works produced the engine in 1885. The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, firm was a leader in steam locomotive construction. This machine has no leading wheels, four drive wheels and two trailing wheels. The engine is  the only one of its type in Central America.

The Gandoca is the older locomotive.

The Gandoca is the older locomotive.

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