The International Steam Pages

A Keyhole to the Future? - The Story of the 1999 Zafra

Ron Lingley of Steam In Paradise reports:

Although outwardly, it could be said that the '99 Zafra displayed little overall change in operations from the past two seasons. The influence of the new Minaz regime is beginning to show and one is left to ponder that this could be the calm before the storm. It is hardly surprising that the tonnage's harvested exceeded the mediocre targets and for the sake of both the country and the industry, these must increase significantly. New canefields are being planted and this could be central to steam's future if targets require all the available resources to be used and not just greater efficiency.

The use of lorry/trailers is now almost ubiquitous and up to three trailers behind one lorry was witnessed. Gone also are the days when cane traffic was routed to avoid town centres. These 'road trains' can now be seen passing loading points and driving through towns direct to the mill or its adjacent LP. It is this use of lorries and the story of Mal Tiempo that show just how perilous the use of railway systems in their current configuration is in the forthcoming years.

A similar number of mills were shut for the season as in '98. There were distinct signs of a drive for greater efficiency at the tail end of the harvest with greater use of intermill workings if insufficient cane was being cut to warrant the mill remaining open. Also witnessed was a loading point that had serviced rail traffic during the season, loading a lorry/trailer in the final days.

Cane in many areas had been affected by the failure of the '98 summer rains. Reduced tonnage's were forecasted, particularly in the east of the island. The weather for the Zafra was almost perfect with almost no cutting affected by rain at any mill before the start of May. The arrival of summer storms should boost the crop for the 2000 Zafra. At the mills, working tank locos are becoming rare. Many of the locos previously reported as derelict or remains have been cut-up, including Class 47 No.52504 from mill 205. Blue liveried Acinox scrap trains can be regularly seen heading towards Havana.

105 A.C.Sandino

No change.

107 Pablo de La Torriente Brau

1662 in excellent condition hauling 13 up the bank.

201 Amistad Con Los Pueblos

The mill was on standby in the event of a failure at Hector Molina, which was where cane was sent behind steam. The difference from last year's operation was that loads and empties were exchanged with a diesel at Molina's junction with the FCC.

207 Gregorio Arlee Manalich

The 'Thomas The Tank Engine' blue turned out to be not as bad as it sounded. The n.g. was working to a reported 5 LP's, but the majority of trips were to the 2 nearest the mill. The s.g. pilot was far more active than in previous years, shunting cane cars, which it normally did pulling rather than propelling, which is the norm with the hoppers.

210 Osvaldo Sanchez

Serious problems are reported here with the mill's boilers. It is not expected that the mill will reopen. The narrow gauge line to the east has been converted to standard gauge. 1205 from Manuel Isla Perez was the surprise motive power to service the mills two s.g. LP's. Some visitors unfortunately found security only a shade more lenient than at 206, while others found the crews basking in the extra interest. The n.g. line to the south of the mill is still in situ although unused. It must be doubted if the narrow gauge locos will ever again see use at the mill. Intermill turns to Hector Molina were diesel.

211 Ruben Martinez Villena

The usual pilots this year were 1311 & 1411, but often only 1411 was in use. In addition to the cane coming in by lorry to the large LP adjacent to the mill, there were some longer distance workings behind 1605 into Hershey territory. The LP north of Roble was not in use. Some trips from the adjacent LP were propelled and not pulled.

212 Boris Luis Santa Coloma

A disappointing year with the mill appearing to have overcome the problems and its dislike of 51031. The diesel covered most line turns. There were some workings on the north line during February behind steam to the 1st LP west of Roble. The 2nd, end LP was not used. 1512 has been removed from Roble.

302 Reynold Garcia

Mill closed and cane sent to Colon/Perico area behind Seis de Augusto (also closed) diesels. 1518 drafted to Rene Fraga.

303 Australia

Some of the best locomotive performances this year were produced here. 1513/1515/1607 all showed sparkling form with no sign, when faced with a heavy load, of the fatigue of previous years. The credit for this is not new staff, but better workshop equipment. A 37 diesel was present again to compensate for the unavailability of 1716. The track from Murga to the mill has been considerably upgraded and trains can now really thrash along here.

304 Granma/318 Victoria de Yaguajay

Steam returned to the Carlos Rojas turn when 38111 was not available. The mill manager believes that the use of steam is more economical than diesel. VdeY's LP at the mill was back in use, although loads were usually propelled into Granma from this and Granma's own adjacent LP's. 1615 presumed scrapped. 1594/1811 at mill 306.

306 Cuba Libre

Line working this year was disappointing. The Pedrosa working was often diesel and the Tarafa working not happening until much later in the afternoon than in previous years. One could be forgiven for not knowing which shed you were visiting at times. 1409 was present from 305, 1594 and later 1811 arrived from 318. 1610 and 1410 were being overhauled for the to-be-cancelled Havana festival.

312 Fructroso Rodriguez

Mill closed again with 1216 stored in good condition and 1849 stored in ex-works condition.

314 Jesus Rabi

Little or no steam action this year. Only 1414 seen in steam (although not actually working). Staff claim that the overhaul of 1413 is complete and it is in working condition.

315 Jose Smith Comas

No change.

319 Rene Fraga

The saving grace for this area with steam line work through Guareiras again. 1518 drafted in from 302. Neither of the tank locos working.

320 Juan Avila

Little steam action and only 1721 seen in steam. 37106 from closed 305 on pilot duty, and one of the area diesels 37167 was also a visitor.

321 Julio Reyes Cairo

Another mill with only 1 loco in steam and little action.

403 Mal Tiempo

Although the mill was closed for the season to upgrade its facilities to produce 'white sugar'(of higher value), 2 of the 3 loading points were in full operation. With only minor adjustments necessary to the loading chute, lorries and trailers were being loaded for direct shipment to Ciudad Caracas and Marta Abreu. One can only hope that the 'powers-that-be' don't realise just how easy it is to exist without the railway. Loco crews were drafted into Ifrain Alfonso, Espartaco and Pepito Tey. In the year since the end of the '98 Zafra, 3 trains ran through to Potrerillo. All of these were with 1322 for the benefit of 'Steam In Paradise' photographers. 1238 is reported scrapped.

404 Ciudad Caracas

Some steam line action if you were lucky, but mainly only shunting. Some crews were unhelpful.

413 Espartaco

Back in action with a busy year. The mill was often hard pushed to keep pace with a constant flow of lorries and the influx of standard gauge cane wagons from other systems. The yard was often choked full with n.g. cane waiting to be emptied. 34064 was drafted in from Mal Tiempo to handle the s.g. traffic, which it did without incident until almost the last day of the zafra. When at the head of a runaway string of wagons, it collided with a wall at the n.g. crossing before smashing into the mill. Fortunately, no one was injured. Mal Tiempo believe the loco can be repaired before next year.

412 J.P.Carbo Servia

Steam pilot with trips to the 1st LP.

418 Obdulio Morales

The biggest overall loss of 1999 with no steam working. 1420 was on overhaul & 1333/1334 dumped. 1354 & 1366 were transferred to Simon Bolivar, who were to provide standby power if required.

424 Primero de Mayo

Mill not working and all steam out of use or under overhaul. Diesels handling all cane traffic. Staff say that the mill and steam will be operational next year.
428 Marcelo Salado. The dollar syndrome with a sting. One crew in particular demanding dollars and then not performing or even doing all they could to ruin photographs. Morning activity was often scarce with insufficient quantities of cane. 1816 was reported to have been steamed but spent most of the season awaiting attention following its charter for Peter Styvesant.

433 Marta Abreu

Fatty was back in action. The crew were happy to give driving lessons when work was slack!

435 Hermanos Ameijeiras

Sometimes pilot was 1667 but was often diesel. Why are 1373 & 1431 stored in the shed in ex-works condition? No.1 is now preserved in its own little plot at the end of the yard.

437 Carlos Carraballo

Mill closed with locos sub-shedded at Ifrain. 1550 later appeared at 428.

440 Ifrain Alfonso

The dollar syndrome was firmly in place, making matters difficult if you were not prepared to act accordingly. This said, the crews were prepared to work precisely to whatever instructions were agreed, so excellent photos and videos were achieved. 1635 and 1910 were the regular locos with 1850 relegated to use as pilot, with an occasional run to Pelayo. It is not totally clear why its performance was so restricted. 1637 was sparingly used especially after it became totally derailed in the yard. Carlos Carraballo's diesels 37084 & 38064 were sub-shedded here during the season and occasionally a Diez de Octubre loco would appear. But the only time diesels were seen on Ifrain cane was when 1637 completely blocked the shed yard.

441 Diez de Octubre

1661 appeared in an attractive orange/black livery and did move, although this was not witnessed happening!

443 Pepito Tey

Action for the patient. Dollar tricks were being taught to the local crews by visiting Mal Tiempo staff!

446 Carlos Balino

Mill closed with Balino diesel working the intermills, but steam used on the shunt. The 0-4-0ST preserved at the mill entrance is 1157 not 1439 as painted.

448 Simon Bolivar

The mill was not working. One loco was kept in steam to work the cane through to Obdulio Morales from the 2 working LP's.

449 George Washington

The greatest surprise of the year was 1823's arrival from Quintin Banderas sporting an orange/black livery. However it only appeared to service the 1st LP. Diesels working the longer trips. Staff say that it will remain here. Washington's other three locos are dumped. The tram loco is now preserved at the mill entrance west of the railway crossing. No.2 & 1168 reported scrapped. Mill still working May 24th!

Ciego de Avila

The notified greater use of rail transport for sugar in the Ciego area can only be from the diesel mills as activity at the usual four with steam power showed little significant change from last years diminished levels.

503 Orlando Gonzales Ramirez

On some days the Limones and Las Trozas LP's were serviced by separate trains and on other days, additional runs were made to the LP between the Venezuela and Las Trozas branches. Shades of the old days with trains returning to the mill in convoy. The main interest here happened late season with 1837 collecting Ecuador cane and running down the mainline through Ciego de Avila.

504 Ecuador

Steam mainly used for the nearer LP's and often with very light loads. On one occasion steam did work to 4 LP's on the far eastern branches and then arrived back with only seven loads. The mill closed early with cane still being cut. Strangely, the intermills were worked with the receiving mill (503 & 515) providing the loco, cane cars and caboose.

505 Carlos Manuel de Cespedes

Steam only on pilot. Cane coming in from R. Dominicana. A new fence now blocks the crossing at the shed entrance. Security staff were not happy about allowing photography of the pilot even in the yard. Mill still working on 20th May!

515 Ciro Redondo

Steam activity here was reduced with pilot work often diesel. The usual shorter runs were more likely to have steam power. End of season intermills from Ecuador with 1832 on Ciro trains and from Venezuela through Ciego de Avila with Venezuela steam.

520 Noel Fernandez

The mill was operational again this year with one of the unique 2-8-0F in use on the shunt. Another was seen in the shed area. No.2 is now preserved at the mill entrance.

522 Venezuela

The mill could only muster three working steam locos this year. Traffic appeared light and the mill closed with cane still being cut. Venezuela steam did undertake the duties to Ciro Redondo up the mainline through Ciego de Avila. The FCC Palo Alto line was again excellent for thrash from the jct. for La Suzanna. 1739 derelict SW of mill. 2 clerestory carriages derelict at top end of yard. 71017/71063 dismantled for overhaul.

635 Rafael Freyre

The very late start to the season caused by the drought in Eastern Cuba was further delayed by mechanical problems at the mill. By early March little preparation seemed to have taken place. 1385 was soon dumped following steaming problems on pre-season charters. The zafra started with just one serviceable line diesel. Later a second was active. Contrary to earlier rumours, the mill has NEVER remained closed for a season in its history. But the Mal Tiempo scenario shows that one should not be too complacent. This year new improved roads allowed cane to be brought into Princessa from the closed Nicaragua mill. Because of this, the siding was always crammed to overflowing with cane cars. Often there appeared to be insufficient empties for Luciano and as late as mid April, no cutting had taken place in the Purial area (it is not known if cane was arriving from Mangos, but thought unlikely).

Teche & Peluda were both providing reasonable quantities and cane was often brought over the summit (N. of Peluda) from each LP separately, with loads combined at a siding of an old LP 2km from Peluda. The branch's existence is reported to be assured for the foreseeable future. No cane, only wood (for firing up the mill) was coming off the Jobal branch. Jobal, Palmarito and Altuna LP's were not in use.

Trains were only seen to go through to Uvilla in the afternoons. Later departures and extra traffic meant that even with the extra hour of summer time, trains were not returning to Barjay until sunset or later and the best chance of the classic palm trees shot was with a late running morning train (mid afternoon!).
Adolf Hungry Wolf has built a house by the lineside at this famous location, which actually does not detract from the overall scene, until.... he stops the train to get off the footplate.... or erects Cuban and Canadian flags on poles for the trains passing!

No.5 2-6-0 reported scrapped.

Ferrocarriles de Cuba

A new working timetable (No.13) came into effect on 24/2/99. Many of the train numbers and some timings have changed, e.g. the old train 1/2 is now 13/14. The new premier train (11/12) is the air-conditioned Havana-Santiago de Cuba (Blue Train) express running every 3rd day. In practice many trains still do not run and the timetable represents what the FCC would like to run if it had the stock. Blue liveried 'Kronos' badged MLW Class 524's now handle most expresses from Havana. Some are also labelled 'Traccion Oeste'. Some of the recently acquired Budd railcars are already active.

Havana has a new station, La Coubre, on the other side of the freight yard from the Central Station. It serves the Pinar del Rio, Guines, Union de Reyes and Cienfuegos trains if they run. Central Station still does not see that many trains so the new station can only be to accommodate more passengers waiting for a train!

The Trinidad charter has been working with 1551.

Detailed observations taken day by day (this will make sense only to the dedicated bashers):


Havana. 52436 on train 13. 50707/52414/52422/71044/71064.
Matanzas. 52440.


211 R.M.Villena. 1605 CF on loads from adjacent LP. 1311 & 1411 on shunts.
212 Boris Luis Santa Coloma. 51031 arrived on loads from south line. 1606 pilot.1806 TF on m/t's to 1st LP west of Roble. 1806 returned CF on loads direct to mill. 51031 again out on south line. 1756 dumped. 1510/1711 dead.
211 R.M.Villena. 1605 CF on loads from adjacent LP. Pilots as before.


207 Gregorio Arlee Manalich. 1308 on shunt and CF on loads from LP behind mill. 1307 CF on loads from LP south of mill. 1403 on s.g. shunt of hoppers and also cane cars. 38035/38231/38255/39019 present.
201 Amistad Con Los Pueblos. 1303/1712/1804/1805 dead. 1707/1803 in steam. 1106 under overhaul.
303 Australia. 1515 found CF on loads from Apodaca LP. 1593 pilot. 1607 i.s.


440 Ifrain Alfonso. 1635 CF on loads from Pozo. 38154 departed mill with loaded cane to 10 de Octubre. 1850/1910 in steam. 1637 dead. 1636 overhaul. 1550 reps. 37084 present.
433 Marta Abreu. 1239 on shunt. 34062 present.
440 Ifrain Alfonso. 1910 CF on loads from Pozo. 1850 pilot.
413 Espartaco. 1327/1329 in steam on shed. 1326 dead on shed. 1130/1131/4136/34064 on shunts. 1328 arrived CF on loads from LP on short line NE of mill.


428 Marcelo Salado. 1426 CF on loads from LP adjacent to mill. 1343 pilot. 1342 TF on m/t's to Jinaguayabo, returning with just 1 load CF to mill. Other locos dead or under repair including 1816.
418 Obdulio Morales. 1333/1334 dumped. 1420 overhaul. 34014/34069/ 34072/34079 present. 1367 on intermill from Simon Bolivar CF with loads.
448 Simon Bolivar. 1361 dere. 1138/1362/1363 dumped. 1354/1366 dead. 1360 overhaul. 34042.
501 Enrique Varona. 37065 shunting.
515 Ciro Redondo. 1829 CF on loads from CA13 LP.


Ciego de Avila. 50921 on Cda-Moron local.
522 Venezuela. 39016 (D type) & caboose, northbound on mainline.
38097/38157. 1902 on m/t's to La Suzanna.
1741 on m/t's to eastern branches - Jiguey, La Graciela and finally Alecrin. CF on loads to mill.
503 Orlando Gonzales Ramirez. 1837 CF on loads from La Gloria and 1st LP on Venezuela branch.


504 Ecuador. 1564 pilot. 38078. 1817/1680 dumped.
522 Venezuela. 1742 found coming off Sanguily branch CF on loads. 38197.
Guayacanes. 71073 on westbound p.way train.
503 Orlando Gonzales Ramirez. 1836 found CF on loads at Cabrera (ex. La Gloria). 1563 pilot.
Pina. 52675 & caboose southbound. 50935 on Moron-Cda local. 81007+38254 on northbound oil train. 39001 on northbound oil train. 38239.
515 Ciro Redondo. 1827 pilot. 1829 CF on loads from cattle farm line. 1834 CF on loads from La Lucia.


Ciego de Avila. 52667 (0160/82) on Moron-Stgo. 50921 pilot.
50909+50927 on Moron-Cda local. 50909 on Cda-Moron local.
505 Cespedes. 37096/37128/38223(R.Dominicana).
1838/1907 dead. 1445 pilot.
Ignacio. 81001 on short eastbound freight.
635 Rafael Freyre. 24l4 wkg. 2413/34058 overhaul. 1387 reps.
1385 on Steam & Safaris special with 3 m/t's and 'choo-choo' tourist caboose.


635 Rafael Freyre. 1388 to Purial with m/t's for LP.
1385 to Peluda on Steam In Paradise special on 7 m/t's and ordinary caboose.
Banes. 39018 (D type). 1181/No.1 Preserved.


635 Rafael Freyre. 1388 to Altuna(2 trips) on Steam In Paradise special with l2 m/t's and ordinary caboose. A further 5 cars full of wood were collected and added to the train for the 2nd return run to the mill.
P.way bogie 'flying-goose' vehicle No.12 working.


635 Rafael Freyre. 1388 to Purial/Barjay on Steam In Paradise special with 7 m/t's and ordinary caboose.


Minaz. 52676 on northbound freight. 81005 on Camaguey-Nuevitas local.
520 Noel Fernandez. 1664 pilot. 38140.
511 Brasil. 1250/1251/1369/1370 working. 1368 dead. 38005/38030/38173/ 38174.
524 Primero de Enero. 38163/38185.
504 Ecuador. 1564 pilot. 1578 CF on loads from Guisa. 1461 CF on loads from Sagua. 38078/38269.
Ciego de Avila. 81012 on Santa Clara-Camaguey local.


Cruces. 38261 northbound hoppers.
403 Mal Tiempo. 1320/1322 dead. 1221/1321/1345/1355 reps/oh.
440 Ifrain Alfonso. 1635 CF on loads from Pozo. 1850 pilot. 1910 CF on loads from Pozo. 38064.
413 Espartaco. 34064/1130/1131 shunts. 1327/1328/1329 on shed. 1326 dead.
443 Pepito Tey. 1164/1165 dead. 1220/1236/1337/1357/1358 in steam.
Cruces. 52694 northbound freight/hoppers.


403 Mal Tiempo. 1322 on Steam In Paradise special to Potrerillo and return.


Havana. 52602 on freight.
320 Juan Avila. 1721 in steam. 1526/1720/1807 dead. 1534 overhaul. 1535 derelict. 1814 remains. 37106 pilot. 37167.
306 Cuba Libre. 1410 pilot. 1594 reps. 1610 overhaul. 1409/1611/1612 dead, Diesel on Pedroso.
321 Julio Reyes Cairo. 1520 in steam. 1416 derelict. 1123/1124/1614/1619/ 1646 dead. 4208 derailed in between 1st LP and yard. 4136 departed to collect loads.
304 Granma. 1714 CF on loads through Carlos Rojas. 38111 on caboose at Jovellinos jct. to Carlos Rojas.
315 Jose Smith Comas. 1122 on shunt. 1531 waiting to depart CF with m/t's after arrival of 1530 with loads.


Havana. 50710 on scrap/brakedown train. 71065.
Revolucion de Octubre Shed. 50704/50720. 50903. 51015/51036.
52425/52433/52437/52444. 71056.
107 Pablo de La Torriente Brau. 1103 pilot. 1703 TF on m/t's to end LP.
1703 CF on loads to mill. 1703 TF on m/t's to LP at bottom of bank. 1703 CF on loads to mill.
105 A.C.Sandino. 1350 CF on loads from Dos Hermanos LP. 1382 CF on loads from San Juan LP. 1382 second run to San Juan LP, CF on loads to mill.


207 Gregorio Arlee Manalich. 1402/1306 pilots. 38035/38225.
210 Osvaldo Sanchez. 1205 pilot. 37036.
306 Cuba Libre. 1611 pilot. 1409/1410/1594 dead. 1610 overhaul. 1808 i.s.
304 Granma. 1714 CF on loads through Carlos Rojas.
Jovellinos. 1714 crossed 52412 on eastbound freight.
Coliseo. 52444 on train 13.


303 Australia. Diesel on 7am departure. 1515 TF on m/t's to La Juanita LP, returning CF on loads. 1593 pilot.
424 Primero de Mayo. 1545/1848 dead. 1543/1544 overhaul.
302 Reynold Garcia. 1517 dead.
Manguito. 38228 with m/t's and Seis de Augusto caboose, heading for Reynold Garcia. Later returning northbound with loads.
319 Rene Fraga. 1820 TF with m/t's at Guareiras. Power cut at the loading point and although most of the return train was loaded. 1820 could not be watered and had to wait until power was restored before returning CF to mill.


Cruces. 61605 on SC-Cienfuegos local. 38217 on route to Espartaco.
403 Mal Tiempo. 37101.
Palmira. 52694 hauling dead 61612/71044 on northbound freight.
413 Espartaco. 1327 to San Fernando TF on m/t's returning CF on loads and 1329 to Jicotea TF on m/t's returning CF on loads.
404 Ciudad Caracas. 37088.
Ranchuelo. 38268.


440 Ifrain Alfonso. 1635 CF on loads from Pozo, assisted into the mill by 1850.
1637 in steam. 38236 on northbound hoppers.
403 Mal Tiempo. 1322 on Steam In Paradise special to Potrerillo & return.
Cruces. 61605 on 2hr20min late-running Cienfuegos-SC local.


428 Marcelo Salado. 1426 on Jinaguayabo turn, CF on loads to mill. 1549/1343 in steam.
435 Hermanos Ameijeiras. 1373/1431/2721/2729 in shed. 1667/2724/2726 dead outside shed. 2731 pilot. 2732. No.1 preserved.
503 Orlando Gonzales Ramirez. 1732 TF on m/t's to Limones Palmero. CF on return with loads. 1837 pilot.
314 Jesus Rabi. 1414 in steam. 1529/1413/1810 dead. 37015/37016.
Guareiras. Railcar 4124 from Aguada turned, departed to Colon 1hr20min late.
319 Rene Fraga. 1518 took hoppers from yard to station.


Ciego de Avila. 50931 shunt.
522 Venezuela. 38197 derailed in yard. 1742 on brakedown train. 1902/1657 dead. 1741 TF on m/t's to Moreno & La Suzanna. 39002 on northbound hoppers at Pita Jones. No loads collected at Moreno. 38157 on loads and 38214 on northbound hoppers crossed at jct. with Sanguily line. 1741 CF on loads from La Suzanna. 38097 with loads from eastern branches.
515 Ciro Redondo. 38237 shunting hoppers. 38026/38096/38254/38265. 34041 pilot. 1827/1830 on shed. 1834 CF on loads from cattle farm line
(2 trips).
Hershey. 3025/51035/51039/71050.


504 Ecuador. 1821 LE on from Sagua, collected 2 loads from San Francisco (Guisa). CF to mill. 1564 pilot. 1904 shunting hoppers/boxcars.
503 Orlando Gonzales Ramirez. 1837 pilot. 1563 CF on loads from La Gloria. 1732 CF on loads from Las Trozas and Limones Palmero. 1563 CF on loads from LP between Venezuela and La Trozas branches. 1836 in steam for night turns.
207 Gregorio Arlee Manalich. 1402 pilot. 38035/38231/39019. 1351 assisted by 1338 CF on 27 loads from 1st LP.
201 Amistad Con Los Pueblos. 1803 TF on loads to jct. with Hector Molina. CF return on m/t's to mill.
303 Australia. 1515 found CF on loads near mill. 1620 pilot.
314 Jesus Rabi. 1414 in steam. Others dead.


440 Ifrain Alfonso. 1637 derailed blocking yard. 1850 in steam. 37084/38064/38211.
Ranchuelo. 38261 on southbound hoppers.
441 Diez de Octubre. 1661 in steam. 1818 dumped. 34067.
433 Marta Abreu. 1239 pilot.
404 Ciudad Caracas. 1538 in steam. 1621 dumped. 1724/1725 dead. 37088/37101/38217/38259.
440 Ifrain Alfonso. 38064 on loads from Pozo. 1637 rerailed and on shed. 1850 propelled loads from Pelayo jct. CF to mill. 1635 CF on loads from Pozo.


446 Carlos Balino. 37162 arrived on m/t's from Santa Domingo. 1432 pilot. 1555 dead. 1157 preserved.
449 George Washington. 1638/1639/1644 dumped. 1823 dead, to be in steam later in day. 34026/34066/34077/37174/38235.
Guareiras. Railcar 4124, 52402.
319 Rene Fraga. 1518 TF on m/t's through Guareiras, returning CF on loads.1532 pilot. 38249 on eastbound freight towards Guareiras.
315 Jose Smith Comas. 1122 pilot. Others on shed.


315 Jose Smith Comas. 1530 CF on m/t's to 1st LP. TF on loads to mill. 1530 CF on m/t's to Delirio.
304 Granma. 1519 propelled loads from Granma and Victoria de Yaguajay adjacent LP's. 1713/1714/1812 dead. 38111 on m/t's to Carlos Rojas.
Navajas. 52409 on eastbound hoppers.
306 Cuba Libre. 1594 TF on m/t's to Pedrosa. TF due to problem with tender coupling.


315 Jose Smith Comas. 1530 CF on m/t's to 1st LP. 52440 on northbound oil. 1530 CF on m/t's to Delirio. Railcar 4125. 1415 CF on m/t's to 1st LP.
303 Australia. 1513 CF on loads from San Ramon. Crossed 37157 LE at Apodaca.


211 R.M.Villena. 1502 CF on 2 trips from adjacent LP. No shunt.
212 Boris Luis Santa Coloma. 51031 on south line.


107 Pablo de La Torriente Brau. 1103 pilot. 1662 TF on m/t's to end LP, CF on loads to mill. 2nd run up bank with 13 cars.
105 A.C.Sandino. 1405 in steam. 1404 CF on loads from San Juan LP.


207 Gregorio Arlee Manalich. 1338/1402 pilots. 1351 in steam. 38225.
210 Osvaldo Sanchez. 37036 arrived on m/t's. Caboose behind loco.
303 Australia. 1620 pilot. 1607 CF on m/t's to Apodaca. LE to San Ramon.
314 Jesus Rabi. Mill washout. 1413/1414/1529/1810 dead. 37015/37016/38227.


440 Ifrain Alfonso. 1635 CF on loads from Pozo. 1910 CF on loads from Pozo. 1850 pilot. 38064 on loads to 440 from 441.
433 Marta Abreu. 1239 pilot. 37127.
441 Diez de Octubre. 1661/34067/38154 on shed. 37097.

SUNDAY 28th MARCH. (Summer time)

413 Espartaco. 1328 CF on loads from LP on short NW line. 1327/1329 on shed. 1130/1131 pilots.
403 Mal Tiempo. 1322 on Steam In Paradise special to Potrerillo.


405 Luis Arcos Bergnes. 1539 shunting hoppers.
428 Marcelo Salado. 1550 TF on m/t's to Carolina branch. 1549 TF on m/t's to Jinaguayabo branch.
503 Orlando Gonzales Ramirez. 1837 pilot. 1732 TF on loads from Dominicana. 1732 TF on m/t's to Limones Palmero. CF on loads to mill.
Santa Clara. 51040 derailed across 2 tracks at points in west freight sidings from 2 nights previously. 50932 pilot. 52436 on train 26, 1hr30min late. 71058 on eastbound freight. 50914/50931.
Later 52425 on train 13.
Placetas. 71077 WBF.
Zaza del Medio. 38241 WBF.
Jatibonico. 52437 on train 16.
Majagua. 38239 WB hoppers.


522 Venezuela. 38252 on hoppers. 1742/1902 in steam. 1741 to Alecrin, Jiguey, Graciela LP's. CF on loads to mill.
503 Orlando Gonzales Ramirez. 1837 CF on loads from La Gloria and Venezuela line LP's. 1836 CF on loads from LP between Las Trozas and Venezuela branches.


Violeta. 52650 EB oil. 52609 WBF.
Esmeralda. 50931 on Neuvitas-SC local. P-way railcar 28.
520 Noel Fernandez. 1664 pilot. 1844 dead. 38140/38143/38175.
635 Rafael Freyre. p.m. 1386 from Teche at Barjay.


635 Rafael Freyre. Morning. Chased 1388 to Latour. 1386 on Teche. Afternoon. Followed 1390 to Uvilla. Silhouette at Barjay of 1386 on Teche.
635 Rafael Freyre. Morning. 1388 to Latour. No cane collected from Princessa. Loco failed at Vega due to lack of water. 1386 to Teche. Waited at Luciano for decision on 1388's train. Eventually both trains returned to mill mid-afternoon.


635 Rafael Freyre. Morning. 1390 to Latour. 1386 to Teche. Afternoon. Chased 1387 to Uvilla. Lost brakevan on climb from Latour. 1386 to Teche. 1386 & 1387 passed palms at sunset.
FCC. Serious derailment of express near Omaja.


Holguin. 71071.
504 Ecuador. Mill washout. 1461 pilot. 1821 CF on 7 loads from Cadena(2), Merino(0), Las Mercedes (4) and Pico Turquino(1) LP's.


522 Venezuela. Mill washout. 1741 pilot. 38157. 38233+caboose. 38269 NB hoppers.
504 Ecuador. Mill slow to restart after washout. 1461/1564/1578/1821 all in steam. Line up of 3 locos in steam in the yard. 38078/38099.
515 Ciro Redondo. 38252 NB hoppers. 38254 SB hoppers 38265/38266.
1829 CF on loads from CA5. 50912 on Jaruco-Moron local.


412 J.P.Carbo Servia. 1727 dead. 37123/38245. 1728 pilot, m/t's to 1st LP.
413 Espartaco. 1329 CF on loads from Jicotea. 1328 CF on loads from San Fernando. 1328 CF on loads from short line SW.
440 Ifrain Alfonso. 1637 pilot. 1910 TF on m/t's to Pozo.


440 Ifrain Alfonso. 1635 CF on loads from Pozo.
303 Australia. 1515 CF on loads from Apodaca crossed 1513 CF on m/t's at La Juanita. 1607 in steam. 1593 pilot.
211 R.M.Villena. 1605 TF on long train of m/t's which went N of Bainoa (after visiting Boris LE for water!). Later returned on 3 loads.
212 Boris Luis Santa Coloma. 51035 shunting wagons of bagged sugar.


Havana. 50720 on shunt.
201 Amistad Con Los Pueblos. 1303/1804 in steam. 1707/1803 dead. 1712 dumped. 1805 reps. 1106 overhaul.
212 Boris Luis Santa Coloma. 1711 pilot. 51031 on south line.
211 R.M.Villena. 1411 pilot. 1502 CF propelled loads from adjacent LP. 1605 TF on m/t's to past Roble.


Havana. 52639. 52437 arrived on train 12, 3hr30min late.
201 Amistad Con Los Pueblos. 1804 CF on m/t's from Jct. with Hector Molina to LP near Rio Seco and LP near autopista (N of mill). TF to mill on loads.
07 Gregorio Arlee Manalich. 38225 on EB hoppers. 1338/1403 pilots. 1365 CF on loads from 1st LP (2 trips). 1307 in steam. 38231/38255/39019.


303 Australia. 1607 found CF on loads at autopista. 1515 CF on m/t's from mill. 1593 pilot.


303 Australia. 1513 TF on m/t's to La Juanita. CF return on loads.
413 Espartaco. No trains. 1328/1329 on shed in steam. 1130/1131 dead in patio. Yard stuffed full of cane. Accident involving 34064 on runaway loads. 38256 removing undamaged s.g. loads to other mill.
440 Ifrain Alfonso. 1635 pilot. 1910 CF on loads from Pozo assisted into the mill by 1635.
Cruces. 61611 on SC-Cienfuegos local.


413 Espartaco. 1329 TF on loads from LP on short SW line. Last train of the zafra. Whistle-blowing all the way to the mill!
440 Ifrain Alfonso. 1635 CF on loads from Pozo.
503 Orlando Gonzales Ramirez. 1563 TF on loads from Dominicana. 1836 CF LE to Guayacanes to collect hoppers. return TF to mill. 1836 TF on m/t's to Limones. Return CF on loads.


635 Rafael Freyre. p.m. 1388 on Uvilla. 1386 on Teche at Barjay before sunset.


635 Rafael Freyre. Morning. 1388 failed. Diesel on Progresso. 1386 on Teche. Afternoon. 1390 on Uvilla. 1386 on Teche. 1385/1391 dumped. 1387 dead.


635 Rafael Freyre. Morning. Uvilla loco failed on route, returned LE. 1390 at 1st LP on Jobal branch to collect flat car. 34058 on m/t's to Princessa. 1386 on Teche. Afternoon. 1388 on Uvilla. 1386 on Teche. Both trains running late.
Ciego de Avila. Between 12/4 & 15/4 1832 on loads from Ecuador to Ciro Redondo and 1837 on loads from Ecuador to Orlando Gonzales Ramirez.


105 A.C.Sandino. Zafra finished 6 days previously. 1404 in steam. 1210/1405 dead. 1350/1382 reps. 1209 dumped. 1424 remains.
107 Pablo de La Torriente Brau. 1662 CF on loads up the bank. Wagons broke loose at top of climb and careered back down the bank, tentatively followed by 1662. A second run followed without mishap. 1401 pilot. 1103/1703 dead. 1501 dead. 1505 reps. 1662 TF on m/t's to end LP. CF return on loads. 1401 CF on loads from LP at bottom of bank and LP near mill.


207 Gregorio Arlee Manalich. 1338/1403 pilots. 1307 CF on loads from 1st LP. 1307 CF on loads from LP behind mill.
201 Amistad Con Los Pueblos. 39021 on shed. 1804 TF on loads from mill to jct. east of 1st LP. 1707 CF on loads from NE LP with caboose behind loco. 1707 dropped loads onto rear of 1804's train at jct. 1804 continued to jct. with Hector Molina. 1804 CF on m/t's to mill. 38249 on EB Acinox scrap train at San Nicholas. 1707 TF on loads from LP NW of mill.
FC. Collision at Santa Clara between a freight train and a Caibarien local train. Some serious injuries.


212 Boris Luis Santa Coloma. 1711 pilot. 1806 dead. 51031 on south line.
320 Juan Avila. 1721 in steam. 1534 oh. 1526/1720/1807 dead.
Union de Reyes. 38138/38222.
306 Cuba Libre. 37166 on Pedrosa. 1594/1811 in steam. 1409/1410/1808 dead. 1610 overhaul. 1612 to work Tarafa.
321 Julio Reyes Cairo. 1520 in steam, 1123/1416 reps? 1124/1619 dumped 1646 dead.
315 Jose Smith Comas. Mill washout. 1530 in steam. Others dead.
304 Granma. 1714 pilot. 1519/1713 dead. 38111 at 318. 1812 dep TF on m/t's for Carlos Rojas.
312 Fructroso Rodriguez. 1216/1849 dead.


Havana. 50710/52402/52427/52433.
449 George Washington. 1823 in steam. 38235.


449 George Washington. 1823 CF on m/t's to 1st LP (2 trips, 3rd possible later). 37174/38235.
Santa Clara. 50908 pilot.


Santa Clara. 50908/50942. 50914 on Univ. shuttle. Railcar 2305 on train 22.


Ciego de Avila. 39004 on WB hoppers.

SATURDAY 1st MAY. (It is worth noting that although this is a major national public holiday, some mills were still working.)

203 Hector Molina. Mill working. LP near autopista loading lorry/trailer, previously this was loading railway wagons.
440 Ifrain Alfonso. Mill working but tracks not used. Last day?
449 George Washington. Mill working.


201 Amistad Con Los Pueblos. 1303 pilot. Last day of Zafra 2nd May.


Havana. 52650.


Camaguey. 39010/81014.
445 Melanio Hernandez. Mill working (diesel mill).
505 Cespedes. Mill still working!


Santa Clara. 52602. 38245 arrived on Los Arabos local. 52408 on train 12. Diesel shunter seen in the yard of Planta Mecanica, Santa Clara.
Esperanza. 52401 EBF.
449 George Washington. Mill still working! 1823 in steam.
Jovellinos. 38138 EBF. 38209 WBF.
Havana. 4855 p.w. vehicle. 52411/52427. Railcar 2304.

Rob Dickinson