The International Steam Pages

Steam in Guatemala, 2003

Guatemala offers as authentic an American style railroading experience as you can get anywhere in the world today.... The pictures are by Louis Cerny. (see also the report of my own visit in January 2004).

Louis Cerny reported on a journey which is some way from his normal Chinese explorations (28th January 2003), since then I added (22nd April 2003) some pictures from the trip. "2-8-2 No. 204 was in operation 23-24 January 2003 on the 914mm gauge Ferrovias Guatemala. Following a ceremony in Guatemala City on the 23rd in which #204 was named in memory of Sergio Paiz (a director of the railroad who was killed in an airplane crash recently), friends of Sr. Paiz were taken to Aguacalientes behind #204 pulling a water car, diner, 2 coaches, and the 6-axle former Presidential open-end observation car 'Michatoya' On the 24th, the 2-8-2 pulled a special passenger train for freight customers of the railroad and other invitees from the base of the mountains at El Rancho upgrade to Guatemala City, leaving at about 9:45am and arriving at 5:30pm. This train had the water tank, a new open-view car, a diner, one coach, and the Michatoya. The locomotive gave a flawless performance throughout the many hours of climbing steep grades and sharp curves through the rugged mountains. 2-8-2 No. 205 is also operable, but is not considered to be in as good condition as #204. Several other mechanically complete 2-8-0 and 2-8-2 locomotives exist on the railroad. I was told by employees that #204 had done a few trips on freight in December 2002. I was also told that, in addition to being available for charters with the matched dark green dining car, coach, and open-end observation car, #204 and 205 are available to be chartered for use on the regular daily freights between El Rancho and Guatemala City using a caboose, or in passenger cars in a mixed train configuration. Serious e-mail inquiries can be made to:

Henry Posner III confers with the driver of newly rebuilt 2-8-2 #204 at Guatemala City, prior to the 23rd January departure of the special train for friends of the late Sergio Paiz.


#204 pulls a special train for shippers and other guests of the railroad towards Guatemala City at a point about 10km upgrade from El Rancho on 24th January.


The same special crosses a bridge with inner and outer guard rails at Agua Caliente, heading for Guatemala City.


Rob Dickinson