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Railfanning in Cuba

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  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • 2 posts
Railfanning in Cuba
Posted by Jonathan Jones in Brooklyn on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 2:08 PM

Hello, All.

 

I am new to the forum although I have been a Trains subscriber for many years.  

I am interested in railroads to see and visit in Cuba, specifically in and around Havana.  If there are any operating steam railroads still around that area I would be interested in hearing about them and any information you have about specific contacts, where they are located, or how to get to them.  

My intent is to photograph and sketch the railroad scene there.

Any information would be appreciated.  If this has been discussed previuosly, please let me know.

Thank you,

Jonathan Jones

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 6,551 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 5:13 PM

Welcome aboard Jonathan!

I've got a number of books by a British author named Colin Garret, and he showed a pretty vibrant steam scene in Cuba, unfortunately those great photos he took are about twenty years old by now, so I'd have to assume things have changed.  Maybe one of our British or Canadian posters who may have been there lately could shed more light on the subject.

 

  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • 107 posts
Posted by bartman-tn on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 12:31 PM

Steam is dead in Cuba. The only operations are at a few tourist "museums", generally run by local economic groups trying to use local assets to attract foreign dollars. Parque Lenin at the south end of Havana sometimes has steam running on the park railroad.

For passenger trains, there are several routes that run in and out of the Havana area. The schedules can be hard to find, but the main east-west trains generally run daily, with a night train and a day train. Locals are much more iffy. Regular service still exists on much of the Hershey line east out of the east side of Havana.

If you have never been to Cuba, tours are often the best option. Looking for steam, go on a rail tour as they often can charter steam on a few lines. There have also been some attempts to have organized steam events across the country, but with little success. You can also hire local guides, but they seldom will get you anything more than the local tourism, which normally doesn't include trains.

There are several internet sites that try to report on what is going on, check them out for details.

  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • 2 posts
Posted by Jonathan Jones in Brooklyn on Monday, February 06, 2017 3:13 PM

Thanks for this information.  I am looking into making contact with som,e locals down there who can help out.  I suspected steam was pretty much done down there, but I am up for seeing pretty much anything on rails as long as it is not too touristy.

Jonathan

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