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International Railroad Discussion > Passenger and freight locomotives in Cienfuegos Cuba


Date: 11/30/18 12:37
Passenger and freight locomotives in Cienfuegos Cuba
Author: Lackawanna484

From a recent trip.  This was on a quiet Sunday afternoon

 








Date: 11/30/18 12:43
Re: Passenger and freight locomotives in Cienfuegos Cuba
Author: Lackawanna484

Pictures 4-5-6

At one point, on a walk away from the city center, I felt like I was in a life size Car Story movie.  A 52 DeSoto came around the corner, and stopped to allow a 57 Chevy to pass.  A 58 Cadillac waited in front of the theater.  A vintage Lada passed a horse drawn cart, and was passed by a Willys, perhaps an early 1950s version.

 








Date: 11/30/18 13:34
Re: Passenger and freight locomotives in Cienfuegos Cuba
Author: hoggerdoug

Nice images from a place not often photographed or posted.  Any issues from the local authorities taking pictures ??
Doug



Date: 11/30/18 13:35
Re: Passenger and freight locomotives in Cienfuegos Cuba
Author: pwh

Thats a sweet looking 1954 Ford. 



Date: 11/30/18 13:52
Re: Passenger and freight locomotives in Cienfuegos Cuba
Author: Lackawanna484

hoggerdoug Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Nice images from a place not often photographed or
> posted.  Any issues from the local authorities
> taking pictures ??
> Doug

No, although I was relatively low key.  And took my photos from public streets.  I speak a little bit of Spanish, which was helpful.

I asked several guides about taking pictures of "old cars, fire trucks, and trains".  They said that there are rules against taking pictures of infrastrcture such as refineries, railroad facilities, docks, airports, military bases, etc. However, I shouldn't have any trouble taking pictures of  cars, fire trucks, and trains, as long as there aren't any refineries, etc in the background.  No question I was under surveillance.  I'm sure the folks who report railfans as terrorists or enemies of the people in the US have their equivalent in Cuba.

In Cinefuegos and Santiago de Cuba, I felt that I was as much an object of interest to the locals as they were to me.  We went to a school for gifted and talented music students, visited an art school dedicated to the advancement of the revolution, etc.  When I took a picture of a classic car at rest, etc, I was sure to give a US dollar or peso coin, etc as a tip. The old cars are extremely expensive to maintain, and hiring them as taxis is appreciated.
 



Date: 11/30/18 14:11
Re: Passenger and freight locomotives in Cienfuegos Cuba
Author: lynnpowell

The locomotives in your photos appear to be in dead storage, if not retired.....headlights are missing and the rails are rusty.  What kind of locomotives did you see in operation?  Were any of the used GEs imported from Mexico seen in action?



Date: 11/30/18 14:17
Re: Passenger and freight locomotives in Cienfuegos Cuba
Author: Lackawanna484

lynnpowell Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The locomotives in your photos appear to be in
> dead storage, if not retired.....headlights are
> missing and the rails are rusty.  What kind of
> locomotives did you see in operation?  Were any
> of the used GEs imported from Mexico seen in
> action?

The earlier pictures came from the back lot, behind the train station. The service areas for active locomotives appeared to be behind a block of apartments for rail workers.  Here's one end of the facility.  The original station is boarded and closed, I didn't walk the  blocks down to the current station.  Temperature was in the 90s, with high humidity, and overcast.




Date: 11/30/18 20:44
Re: Passenger and freight locomotives in Cienfuegos Cuba
Author: usmc1401

Looks from these pictures that the made in China locomotive are out of service. Most likely the newest units on the island.



Date: 11/30/18 21:17
Re: Passenger and freight locomotives in Cienfuegos Cuba
Author: inCHI

I have pictures I haven't posted yet of a 2017 visit to Havana. To answer some of those questions - I shot several days in a row and never had anyone take issue. The only locomotive I saw moving in the limited time I was trackside was one of those Chinese DF7k's. So, some are, or were, in service.

I've developed a major interest in railways in any place where I never heard about railways. What I've found with that is even if I speak only english, if I search for the name of the railroad on youtube or instagram, I'll always find videos. In the last few days that worked for Jamaica, Senegal, Saudi Arabia, and now Cuba. Look for this video to start and you'll probably find a bunch more: "Ferrocarriles de Cuba HD Tren de carga"



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/01/18 09:57 by inCHI.



Date: 12/01/18 07:31
Re: Passenger and freight locomotives in Cienfuegos Cuba
Author: Lackawanna484

pwh Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thats a sweet looking 1954 Ford. 

There's a clear distinction between the often mint-condition restored cars used as taxi service, and many work-a-day old Fords, Chevies, Plymouths, etc used in informal taxi etc business. Many Nissan replacement diesel engines are in those classic cars.

One guide offered a workshop on the ways Cuban people cope with the embargo and grinding poverty. For the most part, only government oficials, union leaders, and the military, have access to or can afford new tires, air filters, brake shoes, etc. So, crafts people make their own brake shoes from drywall shavings and resins, reuse air filters after blowing them out, and repatch hand me down tires. Many newer cars and buses are Chinese, many Gheely and Yatong.

Gasoline was about $2 per liter (a little under $7 per gallon), I never got a straight answer about ration coupons.



Date: 12/01/18 08:55
Re: Passenger and freight locomotives in Cienfuegos Cuba
Author: usmc1401

People have told that cuba only has a USA embargo. US products do come in from Canada and Mexico but are made in those countries. The poverty is a communist thing.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/01/18 15:42 by usmc1401.



Date: 12/01/18 11:07
Re: Passenger and freight locomotives in Cienfuegos Cuba
Author: inCHI

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> For the most part, only government oficials, union
> leaders, and the military, have access to or can
> afford new tires, air filters, brake shoes, etc.

I think that analysis is outdated. There are two currencies in the country. Anyone who works in an position that gets access to the Cuban Convertable Peso that is pegged to the dollar is pulling in a lot of "side" income - in reality, that is their main income and it is many times more than the regular income. When I say the old classics with LED headlights and nice interiors it wasn't a totally mystery; that driver can get a tourist to hand over the equivilent of $35 for an hour ride. For most Cuban's, they don't make $35 in a whole month. (What that means for a standard of living has to include an understanding of what other benefits they also recieve.) In that sense, a engineer on the railway is getting paid far less than taxi drivers or ever restuarant services, who interact with the tourist economy.



Date: 12/05/18 13:21
Re: Passenger and freight locomotives in Cienfuegos Cuba
Author: eminence_grise

Russia is delivering 75 TGM8 road switchers to Cuba in 2018 and 2019. They appear to be older locomotives, remanufactured and reguaged. Also, Russia is upgrading the Caasamayor locomotive shop in Havana . This is from the Russia Today website..

Some years ago, China supplied the road switchers and a supply of parts, plus technicians to train Cuban mechanics. Cuba didn't pay China, so China took the parts back and sent the technicians home.

I don't know what kind of a deal the Russians and Cubans have come up with.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/18 14:30 by eminence_grise.



Date: 12/05/18 14:27
Re: Passenger and freight locomotives in Cienfuegos Cuba
Author: Lackawanna484

inCHI Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lackawanna484 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > For the most part, only government oficials,
> union
> > leaders, and the military, have access to or
> can
> > afford new tires, air filters, brake shoes,
> etc.
>
> I think that analysis is outdated. There are two
> currencies in the country. Anyone who works in an
> position that gets access to the Cuban Convertable
> Peso that is pegged to the dollar is pulling in a
> lot of "side" income - in reality, that is their
> main income and it is many times more than the
> regular income. When I say the old classics with
> LED headlights and nice interiors it wasn't a
> totally mystery; that driver can get a tourist to
> hand over the equivilent of $35 for an hour ride.
> For most Cuban's, they don't make $35 in a whole
> month. (What that means for a standard of living
> has to include an understanding of what other
> benefits they also recieve.) In that sense, a
> engineer on the railway is getting paid far less
> than taxi drivers or ever restuarant services, who
> interact with the tourist economy.

For the most part, my understanding is individual Cubans do not own individual vehicles.  The channel for new vehicles and foreign auto parts is through the government / party / military.  Otherwise, I'd agree with this.  That's why I mentioned above that I would tip drivers when I photographed their cars. They need money.  And tipped the guides in US dollars. Cubans are subject to the exchange fee imposed on tourist US dollars, too.

One guide mentioned the part time job with tourists pays far better than their government science oriented job.  The art instructors in the arts honors school were very interested in selling us their own paintings, sculptures, etc. The government imposes an exit tax on indigeneous art now and then, too.



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