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Railways in the

Falkland Islands

Camber Railway
Kerr Stuart “Wren” class steam locomotive as delivered to the Camber Railway in 1915.

The Falkland Islands is an island group in the Atlantic Ocean and a British Overseas Territory. They are also known by the Spanish name of Islas Malvinas.

In 1915, a new radio transmitter was constructed at a site overlooking Moody Brook on East Falkland. Using the technology of the time, this was a spark transmitter that consumed a prodigious amount of electrical power, and hence required its own generating station. The boilers for the power station were fired by coal, which needed to be conveyed a distance of some 3½ miles to Moody Brook from the Camber Depot at Navy Point, the site of naval jetty on the north side of Stanley Harbour, facing Port Stanley. To this end, a 2ft (610mm) gauge railway known as the Camber Railway was constructed, with trains hauled by steam locomotives. Developments in radio technology rendered the huge transmitting device redundant and the railway fell into disuse in the late 1920s. The line of the railway can still be clearly followed on the ground, but few other traces remain. The two locomotives, in badly deteriorated condition, are in storage pending possible restoration. The site of the transmitting station retains the name of Wireless Ridge and was the location of one of the decisive battles in the Falklands War of 1982.

A number of jetties on East Falkland had short railways, generally hand powered or horse drawn, to facilitate transfer of cargo from ship to shore.

A whaling station operated on New Island, off West Falkland, from 1909 to 1915. It appears to have had one or two narrow gauge railway tracks.

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Photo image from the collection of the Falkland Islands Museum & National Trust