The International Steam Pages

For the Broad Minded

If you want to see steam operated American style short lines today, then you will have to visit Cuba during the annual Zafra in the first half of the year. This section is again divided in two parts, the first covers tank engines and those locomotives with less than 10 wheels, the second the larger power.

What makes Cuba particularly fascinating to the serious observer is the interaction between the mill and main line railways. Not only is there much traffic exchanged between them, but the mills often have access to the Ferrocarriles de Cuba (FCC) system to reach their furthest collection points. Even more interesting are the occasional 'inter-mill' workings which are needed when cane is transferred owing to a temporary breakdown or the closure of a mill for longer periods which can result in heavy steam hauled trains rumbling down the main line for many kilometres.

Again you can get a better idea of the diversity by looking at the other two programs on this CD-ROM covering the mills in detail and the individual locomotives. 


Rob Dickinson