13 October 2010

Bob Haldeman Interview (1)

From an interview with Bob Haldeman, the new junior engineer at the Braden Mines (1941)
Swent : 

How did you get up to the mine? 
Haldeman: I took the train to Santiago, and I met the manager, Charlie 
Palmer, and said hello to him. He got me on the train to 

Swent: What kind of train was it?
Haldeman: A regular train. In Rancagua I had to wait a while and catch 
the rail car. It was a narrow gauge railroad built in 1915 or 
1920. It was seventy kilometers from Rancagua up to the mine in 
Sewell. If the railroad had one, it had a thousand curves in 
it, and the train had one of these old side-drive logging steam 
engines. They bought them from Washington and Oregon, took them 
down to Chile, and put little cars on them. It was like a 
Toonerville trolley, with seven or eight cars. They'd slowly go 

The train took four and a half hours, and the rail car was 
nothing but a truck chassis with a Ford motor in the front, and 
then they put steel wheels on it that they made in the foundry 
there. Then they put a canopy cover on the thing with isinglass 
windows that you took off in the summer and put on in the 
winter. It had five rows of seats of four each and a driver. 
That took two hours. 
So I got up to Sewell late in the afternoon. 

Swent: How high is Sewell? 
Haldeman: Seven thousand feet. I walked from the railroad terminal to the
mine staff house, which was near the mine portal track grade at Sewell: 

Index to Haldeman Interview 

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