Baldwin 280Herge published the first Tintin, “Tintin in the Land of Soviets” in 1930 and the last “Tintin and the Picaros” in 1976. How people travelled across the world changed a lot over these 46 years. Travelling on land by train and long distance by sea was the norm in the 1930s, and 40s, and the same was depicted in travels of Tintin. Commercial flights started becoming popular in the 1950s, but long distance domestic travel was still done by trains in the 1950s and 60s. By 70s, air travel became more common.

The last Tintin book in which he is show travelling by train is “Prisoners of the Sun”. It is the sequel to “The Seven Crystal Balls’ which starts with a scene of a train pulled by an LNER Peppercorn Class A1 steam locomotive. “Prisoners of the Sun” shows a train pulled by a steam locomotive in the Andes. This locomotive is an American built Baldwin 2-8-0 steam locomotive.

This locomotive is similar to steam locomotives supplied to the Paraguay Railways in the early 20th century. One of the lines on which these locomotives did duty was the Encarnacion to Asuncion line. Though the line was closed in 2001, it is being revived again. The first step is to use the Baldwin pulled trains as a tourist attraction.

The 2-8-0 locomotives have a front bogie with two wheels, followed by eight driving wheels and not rear bogie. Not much details are available about the locomotives used in Paraguay. These locomotives cylinders which were 22″ x 28″ (559 mm x 711 mm) bore x stroke. They weighed in at 88.92 tons. The traction provided by these locomotives was 42,553 lbs or 190 KN.