The International Steam Pages


Those were the days... Rafael Freyre Sugar Mill (West)

This is one of a series of pages showing my pictures of Cuban narrow gauge steam at work in the closing years.


Rafael Freyre (Mill 635, 2'6" gauge) was the jewel in the crown of the Cuban narrow gauge with trains running though spectacular scenery in areas whose few roads were of very dubious quality. In other words, it offered unique photographic possibilities. That said, I do not think my offering does the place justice, I was either unlucky or incompetent or more likely both. The line locomotives shown here are all Baldwin 2-8-0s.


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On 22nd February 1996, we headed west to Potrerillo. Beyond the village, 1385 was waiting to take some empties down to the loading point at El Purial.

Such was the climb 1385 brought its train up in two parts.

There was siding space at the top. 1385 pauses before parking the first half.

Some time later it returned with the second part.

Having combined both parts, 1385 trundled off down the road. It being my first visit I tried to outpace the train to get some extra shots. The rest of my party had seen it all before and relaxed next to the car in the background.

Road and rail run separately to the loading point at Los Mango. Before the steam locomotive could come through diesel (2456?) set off for the mill with a short trip working.
Finally 1385 drifted through completing what for me was more than a satisfactory first morning.


Click here for the 'Those were the days' index page.


Rob Dickinson

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