AP PHOTOS: Cuba’s trains offer fine-grained look at country

October 29, 2015

SANTIAGO, Cuba — From east to the west, trains offer a fine-grained, slow-moving view of Cuba that few foreigners ever see.Website Insert Development Finance and Management copy

Goats graze alongside tracks in the countryside, forcing trains to brake to avoid hitting them. Old American sedans line up at a crossing while locomotives pass. Horse-drawn carts cross the rails after a train has gone by.

A boy hitches a ride home from school with a train’s engineer. A man on horseback rides alongside tracks that used to carry tons of sugar from Cuba’s now withered sugar industry. A young man boards with goats to sell in Havana.

While the island is slowly modernizing its rail system, mistreatment and theft of railway property by the people it was built to serve ensure it remains the slowest way to get around already slow-moving Cuba.

The trip from Havana to Santiago, 475 miles (765 kilometers) to the east, takes an average of 15 hours, if the train doesn’t break down. A slightly more reliable train with air conditioning currently is not running while it undergoes repairs.

See the fascinating photos and read the story by Ramon Espinosa of The Associated Press in the Palm Beach Post by clicking here.

 

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