Saturday, 22 March 2008

Steam Heritage, Havana

I think regular steam has now been eliminated in Cuba, apart from tourist trains. I found locomotives (in 'Barry' condition, or worse) on display in a couple of places.

Whilst exploring Havana, my unerring 'nose for steam' (well, sometimes) led me to a car park adjacent to Parque Central in the city centre where a number of locomotives had been 'dumped'. I was told afterwards that these locomotives had turned up in this impromptu museum a few months ago. I found:-

1306: A Baldwin 2-8-0 dating from 1920.
1302: An American 2-6-0 built 1901.
1122: Porter 0-4-0 side tank, works number 4437 built 1909. This is the nearest thing to a working engine at this site.
1351: Another 2-8-0 built 1919.
1172: An 0-4-0 fireless steam locomotive, built in Germany in 1898.
1501: A 2-6-0 built by Rogers in 1904.

There are a number of photographs of these relics: Pictures.

When I got to Estacion Central in the afternoon, I found the 'museum' I'd heard of before my trip - a fenced compound with some interesting relics. I found:-

1207: An elderly 2-4-0 side tank.
1308: An elderly 2-8-0 tender engine.
1403: A Rogers 2-6-0.
No ref: An elderly narrow gauge 0-6-0, together with a well-preserved 4-wheel tender.
1112: An 0-4-2.
1413: Another 2-6-0, this one with a Chinese air pump.
1311: A 2-6-2 side tank.

In a container, I found a miniature live-steam 4-4-0, numbered 1182.

There is a collection of photographs of these locomotives: Pictures.

None of the above appear to be in steamable condition and, I´m sorry, I haven´t even sorted out the gauges yet but, when I´m able, I´ll try to add some more details.

There's a collection of pictures of the Valle de los Ingenios Railway, including a 'working' Baldwin which was 'stopped' during my trip: Pictures.

There are a few pictures of diesel and electric traction and a small collection on the diesel railcar I managed to drive.