Broad Gauge Railway Relics in the Açores

History of the Ponta Delgada Railway
The Locomotives Today (2008)
The Railway Cement Mixer
The Water Tank


I would like to thank Américo Paulo Martins Correia of the Administração dos Portos das Ilhas de S.Miguel e S. Maria, Sa.  (the Port Authority of  the Açores).  Américo gave up his time to show me the locomotives and to explain much of their background.  Without his help this web page would not be possible.

Chris Brady's web pages provided the incentive for me to follow up while in the Açores on vacation in June 2008.

In 2014 Don Gaunt visited the engine shed only to find that the Health and Safety authorities have found asbestos so everything is encased in plastic and cannot be photographed.

The story of the railway in Ponta Delgada, on the island of Sao Miguel, in the Açores begins in Holyhead on the island of Anglesea in North Wales.  J. and C. Rigby won the contract to build the Holyhead Harbour breakwater which commenced in 1848 and took 28 years to complete.  Although the railway line to Holyhead was built to the standard gauge, the broad gauge of 7 feet 0¼ inches because of the large blocks of stone that were to be conveyed.  The broad gauge was that chosen by Isambard kingdom Brunel for the Great Western Railway.

For further information on the Holyhead harbour work see:

Around 1861 some of the equipment from the Holyhead Harbour Breakwater project was shipped to Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel in the
Açores to construct the breakwater there.
Pictures taken during my visit to Ponta Delgada.

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