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1914 Signed Official Railroad Development Map of Chile

Mapa de los Ferrocarriles en Explotación y en Construcción de la República de Chile. - Main View

1914 Signed Official Railroad Development Map of Chile


Signed official map of the Railroads of Chile! Rare!


Mapa de los Ferrocarriles en Explotación y en Construcción de la República de Chile.
  1914 (dated)     34 x 78 in (86.36 x 198.12 cm)     1 : 2000000


A scarce 1914 official map of Chile illustrating railroad construction throughout the country, published in Santiago by the Dirección de Obras Publicas. Oriented to the east, this is an expansive map coving all of Chile and is awash with detail regarding development and coverage of national rail lines. It breaks downs railroads that are active, those that are under construction, and those that are in the planning stage. Below the main map is an extensive collection of profile sectional diagrams illustrating the challenges of constructing comprehensive rail service throughout the mountainous country. To the right and left of the map there is additional data regarding the individual lines. This map has been personally signed by the Inspector General of Trains, Teodoro Schmidt Weichsel (1834 - 1924), a Chilean railroad engineer of German descent who now has a town named in his honor.
Chilean Ferrocariles del Estado
Building a railroad network encompassing the demanding terrain of Chile was extremely challenging. Numerous private transverse (east-west) lines had developed early on to bring resources from the mountains to various seaports, but the construction of a comprehensive longitudinal line was beyond the scope of private industry. Ultimate the task fell to the Dirección de Obras Publicas (Public Works) and its subsidiary, the Chilean Ferrocarriles del Estado.

The Chilean Ferrocarriles del Estado was a subsidiary organization of the government's Dirección de Obras Publicas (Public Works). It was the Dirección de Obras Publicas who initiated new railway construction, and who oversaw the contractors, ran any new railway in its first months, and then handed it over to the Ferrocarriles del Estadofor long-term operation. At the beginning of the 20th century Chile had a growing 'Central' network gradually extending south towards Puerto Montt. This would later be termed the 'Red Sur' or southern network. In the north was the meter gauge network, later to become 'Red Norte', and a number of independent railways supporting the various mining and other industrial opperations. From around 1906 onwards the Dirección General de Obras Publicas investigated transitioning to new 60cm gauge railways, to extend the government network into areas where wider gauges could not reach or could not be justified. Much of this work reached a mature state between 1914 and 1925.
Publication History and Census
This map was published directly by the Dirección de Obras Publicas and is accordingly and hand signed and stamped by the Inspector Jral. De Ferrocarriles de Chile, Teodoro Schmidt Weichsel. The map appears to exist in only one edition. It is accompanied by its original binder, a booklet, and a small pamphlet.

This map is rare. The OCLC has identified only 2 examples, at the University of Chicago and at Cambridge. We are aware of one additional example in private hands.


Teodoro Schmidt Weichsel (July 5, 1834 - July 29, 1924) was a German born Chilean railroad engineer active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was orphaned at 10, but completed his studies at the Technical High School of Darmstadt between 1849 and 1852. He worked briefly for the Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. When he lost this position, he decided to take the drastic action of emigrating to a German colony in South America. He left Germany on April 3, 1859, on the ship Sofia Georgette, landing in Valparaíso, Chile on August 1. He took work at Hacienda Catapilco, using his engineering expertise to constructing dams, canals, and earthworks. Around 1866 he began working on engineering projects funded by the Chilean state, including docks, canals and railroads. In 1869 he was formally added to the Commission of Military Engineers. He continued to work for the state becoming involved with the Ferrocariles del Estado, state constructed and administered railroads in the early 20th century. By 1914 he was Inspector General of Railroads. He died in his home in Temuco in 1924. Learn More...


Very good. Slight toning. Accompanies original binder and booklet.


OCLC 84983971.