The engines in the Museum of Technology

The old Jibóia, today on display at the São Paulo Museum of Technology, escaped the scrap yard by very little

Located on one of the banks of the Pinheiros River, the collection of the São Paulo Museum of Technology contains two steam locomotives. One of that is the engine that was known as Jibóia (Boa Constrictor) because of its ability to pull long and heavy trains. Built in 1936 by Henschel & Sons of Germany, Jibóia weighs 100 tons and has a 4-10-2 wheel set arrangement and three ten-coupled pistons.

 Manufactured for the metric-gauge track on behalf of Companhia Paulista de Estrada de Ferro, it subsequently was adapted for wide-gauge rails. When it first went to work, it was given Prefix 793. The later, it was re-numbered 193 and it continued to work until the end of the 1950s along the 700-km stretch between Jundiaí and Barretos. Jibóia still exists because it escaped being sold o to being turned into scrap iron on two occasions.

Side view of Jibóia showing its 4-10-2 wheel set

According to Sérgio Martire, one of the top steam engine specialists in Brazil Carl at the end of the 1950s Cia. Paulista leased the engine to Sifco, a metallurgical company in Jundiaí, which needed a steam generator for a metal plate scrubbing process. In 1967, when Sifco changed over its production system, it resolved to return the engine to Cia. Paulista, which had already gotten rid of all of its old steam engines. At Paulista, which already was in a process of being extinguished, there wasn’t even a single record about the existence of No. 193. It was necessary for Sifco to prove that the engine belonged to the railroad in order for it to accept taking it back.

Detail of the engine’s headlamp

In 1977, Jibóia escaped the welder’s torch but remain for 20 years at the yard of Soma in São Paulo. Only in 2000 was it finally transported to the São Paulo Museum of Technology. The museum has signed agreement with Fepasa after a frustrated auction. Although it has been advertised in the auction announcement as a complete engine, requiring only repairs, Jibóia arrived at the museum without any coupling rods and in a very deteriorated state. It was restored but is in no condition to run.

 The Museum of Technology’s most recent acquisition is a British locomotive manufactured by Dubs & Co. of Glasgow in 1888. This engine also belonged to the Paulista line and originally was the equipped with a 2-8-0 wheel set and a tender. Later, it was modified, by Paulista itself, to 2-6-4 with a tank, which is the way it is today.

Deactivated by Fepasa, it was purchased by Frigorifico Bordon for transportation of cattle between the slaughtering company’s units. Different than Jibóia, this machine is complete and can be restored and put into operation.