Ecuador - A Life Chasing Trains

I visited the G&Q twice, first in 1976 and again in 2003.  In 1976 the railroad was still functioning as a through route from Duran to Quito, but barely.  There were some Alco diesels, but we only saw them at Quito.  Our group chartered a railbus.  I stupidly tried some ice cream at a nice looking shop in Guayquil and got sicker than a dog, and my pictures suffered.  In 2003 I returned on a Trains Unlimited tour.  By then the railroad had almost ceased operating.  Landslides and other problems divided the railroad into three separate segments and there was no through service. Track was incredibly bad and the two operable steam engines were in very poor mechanical condition.  At the Devil's Nose the poor ex-SC mike could barely pull itself up the grade.  Eventually the railroad shut down, only to be extensively rebuilt and reopened as a high end tourist operation with fancy new mostly diesel trains, but with one or two token steam engines.