Thursday, 31 May 2012

Steam Locomotives in Cuba

Cuban Steam Locomotives

Marcelo Salado, Remedios, Cuba
My visit to Remedios, Cuba.

Gyan C. A. Fernando
Baldwin locomotive roundel

The Villa Clara Province of Cuba is better known for Che Guevara and his revolutionary activities. A little known tourist attraction here is the Museo de Agroindustria Azucarero Marcelo Salado (Museo del Vapor)

Baldwin 4-4-2 in steam atMarcelo Salado, Remedios, Cuba
Baldwin 4-4-2 No 1342  in steam
Engineer on 1342 Baldwin, Marcelo Salado, Remedios, Cuba
Engineer on 1342
The Museum of Sugar Industry and Museum of Steam at Remedios, is an old Cuban sugar mill with its own railway. 

It is no longer productive but has been converted into a museum of sugar production and also a railway museum.
There are several such museums in Cuba and they attract steam train enthusiasts.

On the 8th of March, 2006, I visited Remedios. 
Not many people even know where Remedios is.
Oil firing
Davenport No 1147 0-4-0ST, Marcelo Salado, Remedios, Cuba
Davenport No 1147 0-4-0ST
I was on this holiday not to spot steam locomotives, but to pay homage to my hero Che Guevara who fought some of his heroic battles in Santa Clara.
However, this visit to Marcelo Salado was irresistible.

A short train was already waiting for us and was hauled by a Baldwin 4-4-2. Because there was no turntable, it was running tender first.

Diesel electric with tank train, Marcelo Salado, Remedios, Cuba
The engineer invited some of us to ride the footplate, an invitation which was eagerly accepted.
No 1429 Baldwin, Marcelo Salado, Remedios, Cuba
No 1429 Baldwin
Originally coal fired, the loco had been converted to oil firing.

Starting off smoothly we were on our way
We  traveled a fair distance to the mill, which is now abandoned and converted into a museum. It was mostly to do with sugar but the railway aspect was interesting.

Another two Baldwins and a Davenport 0-4-0ST were there.There were a few box cars. rail-cars and a working hand-cranked trolley. To our delight we were allowed to make short runs on the trolley, as long as we behaved overselves!
A tank train hauled by a diesel electric was brought out for our benefit.

All in all it was an interesting visit.
No 1429 Baldwin, Marcelo Salado, Remedios, Cuba
No 1429 Baldwin
Copyright: Gyan C. A. Fernando, 2012
Photographs: All belong to the author and are copyright.
To the lovely Sophie, where ever she may be.

Further Information:

  1. Preserved steam at Villa Clara:
  2. More photos: 

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