“Let’s find someone, but not English”the president said Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, The railway was in its infancy, with the British laying it at full speed and our country had strategic plans to develop to the north. Searched for the right person in Europe and apparently someone at the Argentine embassy in France named the right person for the job. it was called Josep Heinrich Theodor Rauchwas a German engineer trained at the University of Munich and declined an offer in New York to travel to Argentina and accept the challenge.
When he arrived, he was appointed advisor to the Presidency on the railways and was assigned, in a secrecy contract, to study and design a cargo railway route, both commercial and military, between Salta and a place to be designated pursuant to a reserve agreement. was assigned to. with Bolivia, the beginning of the presidency Nicolas Avellanedawho succeeded Sarmiento.
This was the introduction of the German roach in our country, whose descendants are doing the impossible to save it from oblivion. infobae Spoke with my two great-grandsons, the lawyer federico rachu and obstetrician Enrique Jose Rauch who over the years collected rich material to show that this German actually did much more than is believed.
Apparently, the protagonist of this story, born around 1845 or 1846 in Bissingen, Germany, was trained as an engineer at the same time that the railways emerged in Europe. He worked for the British in the laying of railway lines, and his descendants ventured to intervene in a branch leading to Venice and another that would connect Helsinki with Leningrad. Did he participate in the Franco-Prussian War of 1871? One of many questions waiting to be answered.
He was hired by the Argentine government after an agreement was reached with Bolivia to take advantage of the corridor ending in the Pacific, when the neighboring country had not yet lost access to the sea. And his salary was high for that time, paid in gold.
By then, trains in Argentina had reached Córdoba and routes between that city and Tucumán and between Baad and Salta were planned. He lived in Buenos Aires for some time and then traveled to Salta. He was amazed at the inauguration of the local railway station. SelinaA very beautiful girl of about 22 years old, who turns out to be one of the still unmarried daughters Mariano ZorreguetaA well-known politician and historian in the province.
It was not easy for them to get married, Despite being Catholic, he had to request permission from the local bishop, who referred the matter to the church prosecutor. As Rauch observed that the process was going to take a long time—a 120-page file in the family treasury—he found the solution: nine months after the process began, in a letter he sent to church officials, however. He complained about the delay in authorization of the link, Announced his intention to donate 1,500 pesos. His “generosity” opened the issue, They were married in November 1884 at the San Francisco Minor Basilica, which is known to everyone in the city as “La Colorada” because of the color of its façade.
Rauch – a fat, tall, blond man with blue eyes – immediately earned the respect of the local society for his seriousness and intelligence. He lived in his father-in-law’s house, an important property that occupied nearly an entire block in front of the Basilica Menor San Francisco, where a hotel now stands. In addition, he spent time on a farm in La Calderilla, a place north of the Valle de Lerma that went down in history because it was there that he found Manuel Belgrano You Martin Miguel de Guymes,
There is a curious detail in his story: he is considered the initiator of the practice of decorating pine trees to celebrate Christmas in Salta.
In February 1886, he announced to his wife that he was to leave for a job that had been assigned to him, but since it was confidential, he did not explain what it was about. His mission was to study the traces of a railway line between Salta and Antofagasta. He was missing from home for one year and two months.
He worked closely on railway matters with the Governor of Salta, Col. Juan SolasJoe was a strong promoter of the Andean railway development, which would link the port of Buenos Aires with others in the Pacific, in good faith with then-President Nicolás Avellaneda, who spoke at Tucumán on the occasion of the arrival of the Central Norte Argentine Railroad. : “The first and great effort has been made, the locomotive is at the foot of the Andes”.
He ventured into vast areas to study the difficult choices it offered. They did this with engineers, surveyors and local people, preferably Kolas, and then they also brought in Yugoslav workers who were accustomed to working in harsh and extreme conditions.
To develop these railway projects, he used his previous experience in early-executed niches in Europe to overcome high slopes, by means of siding, rollers and a zigzag system on many viaducts, bridges and tunnels. Denied the use of racks. “He invented a system that has not yet been surpassed”Says his great-grandson.
These plans and the documentation of the mark were used to build the Salta section to Olakapato Station 21 years later. From there to Socompa, the layout was designed by engineers. Richard Maury You nicanor aluralde, because Chileans from the city of Augusta Victoria were much closer to the Socompa Pass and climbing was less problematic. This means an additional route of 270 km, compared to the original route designed by Rauch via the Huytikina Pass.
Richard Maury He was an American engineer who came to Argentina in 1906 and was hired by the railways. great-grandson of rauchu They believe that this specialist in the design of railway routes in the mountains had access to German plans. Truth is this mori He performed a titanic task: with thousands of workers, he worked at great heights and with little oxygen. In addition to the means to build routes, he had to manage to carry tons of rails, sleepers, various materials to build bridges and equipment through the mountain. He will leave his mark on the laying of tracks in Tucumán and Mendoza. He was an honorary professor at Tucumán University and edited the book “Manual for the Layout of the Railway”.
44 m. a tower of
The City of Salta Preserves a Work That Was Designed by This German Engineer, This is the addition and execution of Tower of the Church of Candelaria or “La Vina” Which is located in the heart of the city of Salta in Alberdi and San Juan. At 44 meters high, it is the second tallest church in Latin America and is currently a National Historic Monument.
Rauch donated the plan to the church in 1895 and, according to newspapers at the time, the execution of the work was supervised by him until 1898, when the second body was completed. Since then it was suspended due to lack of funds, restarted several times in 1908 under the direction of the architect Francesco Rigetti, this continued until its completion with the funding of a commission from Damas Saltenas.
loss rauchu They engaged in a long pilgrimage through public and private archives to find the original plans. When he was finally retrieved and the authorship of his ancestor was verified, a ceremony was held in July 2003 where a plaque was discovered at the foot of the tower, honoring him. The original plan was kept in the archives of the Bishop of Salta and a copy was prepared for display to the public.
In the city of La Plata, he revamped the cathedral, and a plaque thanking him for his cooperation was stolen, along with others, a few years earlier.
He was shocked by death in January 1900 in a camp about 100 kilometers south of the city of Salta. Over the years the place became a city they called GermanyWith an accent on “I”, and the family explains that it was in his honor, and they regret that the local residents are unaware of this origin.
An envoy of the presidential government attended his funeral Julio A Roca, He was buried in the mausoleum he built at the Cemetery of the Cross, where his father-in-law was buried the previous year, with whom he had become friends and developed several businesses together.
loss rauchu ,Who is related to Queen Maxima of the Netherlands– They believe that their ancestor is not remembered properly according to the work done by them. They will consider it a tribute to him being recognized as the designer of the complex journey that is more than three thousand meters high, the Train to the Clouds. Likewise, they want to spread that the origin of the name Alemania, the place where he died in the middle of his work, is due to the German who chose Salta and who lived and died on his own, of iron roads. dreamed.