Central Boca Chica, Juana Díaz, meter / 26 in gauge

Whitcomb 4 wheel diesel-mechanical unit, serial #40110, December of 1940, 6 tons, model # 6DM-35, 26″ gauge

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“Central Boca Chica has always been a mill for which little railroad information or photographs were found over the years of my research. In recent years I was able to buy a photograph of their #4 on Ebay at a modest price. But the picture has appeared in many places since that time, as the seller used a decent resolution picture for his listing. The photograph was taken by a US serviceman, who also took pictures of a large steam tractor working near the locomotive, as well as some photos of workers cutting cane. A year or so later I was able to find a builder’s photo of #4. Oddly, this was the only locomotive ever factory-lettered for Boca Chica. Boca Chica had a very extensive railroad system, and from the Wirshing family I was able to get the blue print of the mill yard and all the surrounding fields owned at the time of that blueprint. All of those fields were connected to this rail system. … I visited what few traces were left of this mill site in 1968 and found several small sections of rail in concrete near road crossings. The gauge was 60cm. This narrow gauged system was powered by teams of oxen.

There was an old meter gauge section just north of the mill site, again embedded in concrete at a roadway. The mill had a meter gauge connection with the ARR near its junction with the Fortuna RR. According to Marco Amaro at Aguirre, the original #1 from the P&G (Baldwin 0-6-0 tender locomotive) first worked the mill connection when acquired in 1912. When the Serralles interests became principal owners, they extended a 26″ gauge line to Boca Chica and around 1935 assigned two Plymouth locomotives to the mill. These were relettered for Boca Chica and assigned #2 & #3. The #4 locomotive we seen in the photo, was the first one ordered by Serralles for the mill and was shipped lettered for the mill. It was a Whitcomb 4 wheel diesel-mechanical unit, serial #40110 built December of 1940, rated at 6 tons and model # 6DM-35, and was 26″ gauge…. ”

Dave Deyo, 13 August 2014.



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