Scottish bricks manufactured for South American Railway Networks.

The following post is a result of initial information received from Enrique Kunz and thereafter further research to, I believe, prove a theory that the bricks below were made in Scotland for the South American Railways.

I have found several bricks marked FCCA, FCCC, FCO, FCSO, FCS, FCC, FCP and BAP.

Some of these bricks have associated, Thistle, Glenboig or GEM (Castlecary) marks. I had, up until 28/11/2015, been unable to identify what the marks above refered too.

Enrique Kunz put forward an interesting theory. He believed these bricks were made in Scotland for use on the Argentine railway network.


He believed it is possible that bricks marked FCCA were made for the Central Argentine Railway. FC (railway) C (Central) A(Argentine). It was a British enterprise established in Argentina in 1863 and sold to the government in 1948.

The Central Argentine Railway (CA) (in Spanish: Ferrocarril Central Argentino) was one of the Big Four broad gauge, 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm), British-owned companies that built and operated railway networks in Argentina. The company was established in the 19th century, to serve the provinces of Santa Fe and Córdoba, in the east-central region of the country. Source

Ferrocarril Central Argentino (FCCA) became the Ferrocarril Nacional  General Bartolome Mitre.

English Name: Central Argentine Railway

FCCA . fcca poster


FCCA Railway




Below -Further convincing evidence as the following 2 bricks were  found by Enrique on the FCCA railway network.

FCCA-Central Argentine Railway


glenboig fcca found Argentina

Below – and these found by Pablo Marzilio in Argentina.

glenboig FCCA


Glenboig FCCA.

Below – Glenboig FCCA brick found in Rosario, Argentina by Cris Pasquali.


Enrique wrote further that FCO could refer to the Western Railway in Argentina. British investors bought the railway circa 1884 to Argentine owners. In 1948 the railway was bought by the Argentine government.

Information on FCO

Ferrocarril Oeste (FCO) became the Ferrocarril Nacional General Domingo Faustine Sarmiento – English Name: Buenos Aires Great Western railway

Locomotora_a_vapor_-La_poderosa- fco . fco 1911

Below  – An FCO brick found in Barrhead, Paisley. The maker is unidentified.

Below – An FCO brick found at Drum Farm, Bonnybridge, Scotland among countless ‘Bonnybridge Brand’ bricks. (This was left in situ).

Below – FCO marked bricks found in Mechita, Buenos Aires, Argentina – source

FCO Argentina (640x480)


He also is of the opinion that FCS could refer to the Southern Railway in Argentina. One of the FCS bricks is marked FCS MA1 (I) but he does not know what the MA1 could relate to.

Information on FCS

Ferrocarril del Sud was one of the Big Four broad gauge, 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm), British-owned companies that built and operated railway networks in Argentina. The company was founded by Edward Lumb in 1862 and the first general manager was Edward Banfield after whom the Buenos Aires suburban station of Banfield was named, when it opened in 1873. After president Juan Perón nationalised the Argentine railway network in 1948 it became part of the state-owned company Ferrocarril General Roca.

Edward Banfield (9 February 1837 – 6 July 1872) was an English railroad engineer who drove the first locomotive (La Porteña) through Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1857 as part of the Buenos Aires Western Railway. He was the first General Manager of the British-owned Buenos Aires Great Southern Railway between 1865 and 1872, founded in Argentina by Edward Lund in 1862. Banfield died in 1872, and the town of Banfield in Buenos Aires Province, founded in 1873, was named after him. The professional Argentine football club Club Atlético Banfield also carries his name.

FCS train



Ferrocarril Sud y Oeste – FCSO

The Southern Railway was a company of British capitals which built and operated a railway network in Argentina in the second half of the nineteenth century until the first half of the twentieth century. The company was founded by Edward Lumb in 1862 as Buenos Aires Great Southern Railway (BAGS) and his first general manager was Edward Banfield. WIKI Source


In addition to the above I have a Castlecary FCCC brick and further investigation along the lines of the info above reveals that FCCC also stands for the Central Cordoba Railway

Information on FCCC

Information on FCCC

FCCC = Ferrocarril Central del Chubut. NB In Spanish this should really be abbreviated ‘FCCCh’ as ‘Ch’ counts as a separate single letter in Spanish. However the railway management always used the English abbreviation FCCC. Source



…. and then again the following is almost too much of a coincidence not to be true – I have bricks marked FCP Forth and BAP Forth.


Research following the above theory of Argentinian Railway related Scottish brickmarks I came up with this:-

FCP = Ferrocarril Patagónico = Patagonian Railway(s), ie the two isolated broad gauge lines and the ex FCCC from 1948 until their takeover by the FC General Roca a few years later.

Ferrocarril al Pacifico (FCP) became the Ferrocarril Nacional General Jose de San Martin

English Name: Buenos Aires and Pacific Railway

Information re FCP

Below – A possible FCP brick found in Rosario, Argentina by Cris Pasquali.


Buenos Aires and Pacific Railway  – BAP

The Buenos Aires and Pacific Railway (BA&P) (in Spanish: Ferrocarril Buenos Aires al Pacífico) was one of the Big Four broad gauge, 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm), British-owned companies that built and operated railway networks in Argentina.

The original concession was awarded by the Argentine government in 1872 to John E. Clark for the construction of a railway from Buenos Aires to Chile. It was not until 1882, when the BA&P was registered as a joint-stock company in London, that Clark was able to take over the concession

In 1898 the BA&P took over the British-owned company Villa Maria and Rufino Railway and a year later John Wynford Philipps (Many Scottish connections)became chairman of the BA&P, a post he held until 1938. During this period the company developed into a regional amalgamation of companies and dependent lines reaching from Buenos Aires to the Andes and extending from San Juan to Bahía Blanca. In 1907 the Argentine Great Western Railway, which had long been a rival of the BA&P, was taken over. Source


Below – BAP Forth – Forth stamped bricks were a product of the Roughcastle Fireclay Works, Bonnybridge, Scotland.

Below – Dougall BAP  – James Dougall and Sons, Bonnyside Brickworks, Bonnybridge, Stirlingshire, Scotland.




and yet again this South American Railway connection to a Scottish brickmark  –  FCAB

The Ferrocarril de Antofagasta a Bolivia (FCAB) started at the Chilean port of Antofagasta. It proceeded up the front range of the Andes to Ollagüe on the Bolivian border, then across the Bolivian pampas to Uyuni and Oruro. At Oruro the gauge changed to metre gauge for the remainder of the route to La Paz, the capital of Bolivia. A number of branches were added to reach various mining fields. The Collahuasi branch reached 4815 metres (15,795 ft) above sea level, regarded at the time of construction as the highest railway in the world. The total length of 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) gauge lines, including branches and subsidiaries, was 1,537 km (955 mi).

The history of the railway dates back to 1872 with the grant of a concession by the government of Bolivia to Melbourne Clarke & Co, the territory around Antofagasta being part of Bolivia at this date. The railway was organised as the Antofagasta Nitrate & Railway Company. Construction started in 1873, with the first section opening late in that year, motive power provided by mules. Steam locomotives were introduced in 1876, and by 1879 the railway had extended about 150 km into the interior. War broke out in 1879 between Chile on one side, and Peru and Bolivia on the other. One of the causes of the war was an attempt by the Bolivian government to levy back taxes on the railway. The “War of the Pacific” ended in 1883, and Chile gained the region around Antofagasta as well as part of Peru.

Control of the railway passed to the Company Huanchilaca de Bolivia in 1887, who subsequently floated the railway on the London stock exchange in 1888 as the FCAB. The Huanchilaca company retained the right to operate the railway for a further 15 years. The line reached Oruro in Bolivia, the end of the 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) section, in 1892, and branches continued to be added over subsequent years. British business interests resumed control of the entire system in 1903. Traffic reached a point where the port of Antofagasta was unable to cope. A new port was opened to the north at Mejillones in 1906. The entire region is a desert, with almost no rainfall. The company constructed a system of pipes and reservoirs to bring water for the railway from the high Andes, eventually becoming responsible for supplying Antofagasta with water as well.

Bolivian government interests supported the construction of a railway between Oruro and the Bolivian capital, La Paz, and this line was opened in stages between 1908 and 1913 This line was constructed to metre gauge, and was leased to the FCAB. The FCAB now had two operating divisions, one using 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) gauge, the other metre gauge. The Chilean 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) gauge track was regauged to one meter in 1926.




This too is a possibility – Bonnybridge FCC

“The Córdoba Central Railway (CCR) (in Spanish: Ferrocarril Central Córdoba FCC) was a British-owned railway company, founded in 1887, that operated a 1,960 km (1,220 mi) 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) metre gauge railway network in Argentina which extended from Buenos Aires, north west via Rosario and Córdoba, to Tucumán. Financial problems forced the sale of the company to the Government of Argentina in 1938. When railways were nationalized in 1948 the CC became part of Belgrano Railway.

Enrique has also found Gartcraig, Nettle, Thistle,Gem  and Sankey bricks while out researching and visiting the old South American railway system. – click me 

An interesting source of information in relation to Scots Railwaymen in Argentina is found on the Scots in Argentina website

Rail in the Argentine


initials/sigla Name in Spanish/castellano Name in English/inglés 1949 nationalised railway name
FCACN, FCNCN (1880-1) precursor del F.C. Central Norte Argentino(?) Central Northern Railway F.C. Gral. Manuel Belgrano
FC Andino(1873) F.C. Andino became part of the Central Argentine Railway F.C. Gral. Bartolomé Mitre
FCBByNO (1891) F.C. Bahía Blanca al Noroeste Bahía Blanca and North Western Railway F.C. Gral. Julio A. Roca
FCBE, FCBAyE, FCE (1865) F.C. de la Boca, Barracas y Ensenada,
F.C. Buenos Aires, Ensenada y Costa Sud
Buenos Aires and Ensenada Port Railway F.C. Gral. Julio A. Roca
FCByR, FCR, FCBAR (1886) F.C. Buenos Aires y Rosario Buenos Aires and Rosario Railway F.C. Gral. Bartolomé Mitre
FCCA, FC Central (1866) F.C. Central Argentino Central Argentine Railway F.C. Gral. Bartolomé Mitre
FCCC (1875) F.C. Central Córdoba Central Cordoba Railway F.C. Gral. Manuel Belgrano
FCCER (1887) F.C. Central Entrerriano became part of the Entre Rios Railway F.C. Gral. Justo José Urquiza
FCCN (1876) F.C. Central Norte Central Northern Railway F.C. Gral. Manuel Belgrano
FCCyR (1891) F.C. Córdoba y Rosario (vía Río Cuarto) Córdoba and Rosario Railway F.C. Gral. Manuel Belgrano
FCN (1862) F.C. Norte de Buenos Aires Buenos Aires Northern Railway F.C. Gral. Bartolomé Mitre
FCNO, FCNOA (1889) F.C. Noroeste Argentino Argentine North Western Railway F.C. Gral. Manuel Belgrano
FCNO (c.1887) Ferro_Carril Nord Oeste North Western of Uruguay Railway Administración de Ferrocarriles del Estado
FCO (1857) F.C. Oeste de Buenos Aires Buenos Ayres Western Railway F.C. Gral. Domingo F. Sarmiento
FCOS (1883) F.C. Oeste Santafecino Santa Fe Western Railway F.C. Gral. Bartolomé Mitre
FCP, FCBP (1888) F.C. Buenos Aires al Pacífico Buenos Aires and Pacific Railway F.C. Gral. José de San Martín
FCPdeSF (1888) F.C. Provincial de Santa Fe Province of Santa Fe Railway F.C. Gral. Manuel Belgrano
FCS, FC del Sud (1865) F.C. del Sud Buenos Ayres Great Southern Railway F.C. Gral. Julio A. Roca
FCSFyC (1885) F.C. Santa Fe a las Colonias became part of the Province of Santa Fe Railway F.C. Gral. Manuel Belgrano
FCSSFyC (1890) F.C. Gran Sur de Santa Fe y Córdoba Santa Fe and Córdoba Great Southern Railway F.C. Gral. Bartolomé Mitre
FCyC (1876) F.C. a Campana Buenos Ayres and Campana Railway F.C. Gral. Bartolomé Mitre

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