Vitória a Minas ML4000C'C'
(The Boys From Brazil)
(K-M Germany photos are copyright by Richard Oed.)
(EVFM Brazil photos are copyright Deane E. Motis.)
Krauss-Maffei's Richard Oed was also involved in the 1966 meter-gauge ML4000C'C' project for the EFVM-CVRD mining operation. These locomotives were built to essentially the same pattern as the 15 Southern Pacific "hood units", but with concessions for narrow-gauge track, tighter loading gauge, and predominently warm-weather operation.
These rare photos taken by Richard Oed in Munich-Allach in 1966 were generously provided to us by Richard G. Oed, his son.
Richard (the younger) says: "The first departure picture shows the locomotive towing the train to the north. It is E32 07, built in 1926 by J.A. Maffei (Krauss and Maffei merged later), so a 40 years old engine started the journey of the most powerful narrow-gauge diesel locomotives. I really can hear my father mutter something to himself about the inability of the German Federal Railway to provide an adequate machine."
His father was behind the camera for the group shot. (See "K-M Memories" for a photo of Richard G. Oed and his family with the 1964 SP units.
Perhaps the sun shining on these ML4000's gave them more hope for a long life than the SP units, which were delivered under cold, gray skies. Shipment was made on temporary standard-gauge bogies, and the meter-gauge geared trucks were loaded on flat cars. The SP units were shipped with the lead unit under power, something not possible here.
Note also that the loading gauge of the Brazilian operation -- though closer to AAR standards than the tight clearances of Germany's Deutsche Bundesbahn -- allowed the full set of handrails to be applied for the delivery trek. (The SP units required partial disassembly of their outsized U.S. railings and sandboxes for transit.)
As with other international builders, K-M had a section of dual-gauge test track on the premises. The 704 is mounted on its correct trucks. EFVM had built out its tunnels and right-of-way to near-AAR standards, allowing them to consider the K-M units. These were the largest locomotives by far on the EFVM in 1966, towering over their fleet of export EMD units.
The 704 was part of the first group delivered to EFVM in September of 1966. The full order totalled 16 units, with a subsequent group of 12 units shipped in 1969.
The German enamel was amazingly glossy when first applied, but did not bear up well under extreme UV and neglect, whether in Vitória, Espirito Santo, Brazil or Roseville, California, USA. These units would never look as good as they did this day.
And The End...
Sixteen years later, Deane Motis journeyed to Vitória and captured the very last of the EFVM ML4000's. Krauss-Maffei and the CVRD were in negotiations to rebuild the fleet. But the talks broke down over warranty issues, and only two units were rebuilt -- 703 and "lucky" 711, both by the CVRD. It appears that the EFVM shop crews did the SP one better in blanking off cab windows?
Unit 701, on shop trucks and with hood sections slightly ajar, has either been cannibalized for parts or is being prepped for a rebuilding that never would come.
In a scene reminiscent of the long "dead line" at Roseville in the late 1960's, the Brazilian K-M's await their fate. None were preserved.