The International Steam Pages


Augusto CÚsar Sandino Mill

Augusto CÚsar Sandino Mill has seen a remarkable revival in fortunes in recent years. By 1993 the railway system was rather run down and when it failed to reopen in 1994, inevitably it was assumed that this was the end of 3ft 0in gauge sugar steam in the west of Cuba.

Instead, the whole railway was rebuilt in stages with a partial reopening in 1996, followed by further extensions so that by 1998 full operation had resumed. The locomotive stock is varied, the most notable member being Henschel 2-6-0 1405, the last active conventional European built narrow gauge steam locomotive in the country. Other locomotives carry high numbers, indicative that they were once based much further east.

A further point of interest is the close relationship between the mill and the Parque Lenin pleasure railway. The mill has often hosted their locomotives for repairs and current 1210 has often been stated to have been a former Parque Lenin regular, confusingly given the number of a similar locomotive from nearby Orlando Nodarse Mill when the original 1210 was scrapped. However, I am far from convinced that this is the case as the two locomotives look considerably different from each other in the pictures on this CD-ROM.

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Rob Dickinson

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