The International Steam Pages

Real Steam in Cuba 2005?

A late season Cuba report by Yoshi Matsuo, click here for his pre-season report.

He also visited the Railway Museum at Cristina Station in Havana on 5th July 2005 . The museum director told me that 25 more MINAZ steam locos are listed as "reserved for future museum display". The list include following locos. Most were seen in action during recent Zafras.
1805, 1806, 1667, 1515, 1607, 1414, 1820, 1807, 1550, 1548, 1644, 1337, 1355, 1848, 1621, 1363, 1366, 1354, 1420, 1510, 1308, 1322, 1170, 1171, 1732
Plus a MINAZ diesel 2410 
Note the preparation of display may proceed little by little due to limited budget.

207 Gregorio Alree Manalich
5-May: As previously reported, NG is not used. I arrived at 10:00 AM, brown painted 1402 was in steam in the yard and empty wagons behind Hector Molina Riano diesel just arrived. After shunting wagons briefly, the diesel got into the yard and took a break. At 12:30 PM, the diesel started shunting wagons and got ready to go home with loaded wagons (but not departed). At 1:00 PM 1402 came to yard adjacent to FCC Melena station and prepared empty wagons bound for the LP. However, during shunting, 1402 encountered a running gear failure and went back to the shed. Then it was decided that the Molina Diesel took over the duty to the LP. The diesel crept to the new line to the LP with empty wagons. It was surprising! I understood that Manalich SG steam is used because the new line is not capable for a diesel. Maybe this was the first attempt to bring a diesel to the new line. As a result, the diesel derailed on a tight curve before arriving at the LP! While the crews were trying to rerail the diesel and could not succeed, it began a big squall. I gave up staying at the LP to observe how they rerail in heavy rain and returned to Havana.
NG 1306, 1308, 1336 (cab removed), 1351, 1365 plus an unidentified boiler were at the shed. NG locos are still painted in blue. SG 1510 was in good condition, painted in brown. Plinthed 1403 is now painted in bright red.

319 Rene Fraga
30-Apr: Zafra had already finished. 1413 (still lettered Jesus Rabi) and 1518 are in good condition at the shed while 1820 missing some parts. 1532 dumped.

440 Ifrain Alfonso
30-Apr: Although mill still working, no rail traffic was seen. All steam locos are cold at the shed along with diesels.

441 10 de Octubre
30-Apr: At 12:30 PM, 1639 in steam at the shed. The crew said 1639 will go to the LP adjacent to the mill sometime in the afternoon.

503 Orlando Gonzalez Ramirez
1-May: Zafra had already finished. 1732 was at the shed in good condition.

504 Ecuador
1-May: Zafra had already finished. I did not see the shed.

515 Ciro Redondo
30-Apr: Around 6:00 PM, 1829 arrived with loaded wagons from CA3.
1-May: In the morning, 1829 was in steam and to be assigned to go to CA3 again. However by noon she encountered some failure and fire was dropped.

517 Patria o Muerte
2-May: 1564 worked on tourist train. 1563 partly dismantled. 1461 in good condition. Fireless 1169 plinthed.

522 Venezuela
1-May: Zafra had already finished. Streamlined 1657 and 1742 are at the shed in good condition.

The following was his pre-season report from 9th January 2005

440 Ifrain Alfonso
26-Dec: Mill has not started yet. In addition to the locos (1635, 1637, 1850 and 1910) previously reported, 1636 and 1639 (10 de Octubre) are also cold here. Repair for 1635 looks not in progress.

503 Orlando Gonzalez Ramirez
I did not visit this mill. However a local people says mill starts on 10-Jan.

504 Ecuador
30-Dec: Mill has not started yet. Mill starts on 13-Jan. 1821 is partly dismantled outside the shed. 1578 and 1904 under repair in the shed. 1461 is said to be gone to 517 Patria o Muerte.

515 Ciro Redondo
29-Dec: Mill has not started yet. 1829 is working busy in the yard for Zafra preparation (shunting dead diesels and empty wagons). 1826 and 1827 cold in working order.
15 and 16-Mar: 1826 in patio.

522 Venezuela
30-Dec: MINAZ office says this mill is closed for this Zafra. 1657 (Semi-streamlined) and 1742 are cold outside of shed, looking in working order.

Rob Dickinson