Cuba

Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

Re: Cuba

Postby johnthefireman » Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:04 am

I'm very tempted to respond to that, Philip, but I think my response would go way beyond what is appropriate political debate on a railway site, so I'll pass.
User avatar
johnthefireman
 
Posts: 1159
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:09 pm
Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Re: Cuba

Postby David Benton » Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:12 am

Moderators note:
I think it would be fair enough for us to discuss the political /social situation one would find in Cuba, if one were to visit on a railfan trip.I would certainly want to know if i was lucky enough to be contemplating such a trip.
Lets not discuss the past( Google should provide plenty of answers/opinions there), keep it civil , and avoid the use of inflammatory names etc. And lets keep it to how it would effect a Traveler there, not the political relationships between countries etc.
Thanks.

Whilst I would probably stay in a hotel with a few less stars than Mr Norman, I do imagine there must be some gems from the previous eras that have survived, and are a relative bargain.
I also wonder if the railways will survive the next few years , presuming greater trade with the USA, combined with the recent drop in oil prices(if it lasts) , I imagine a proliferation of trucks and private automobiles.
I suspect riding the passenger trains asap would be a good plan.
Moderator worldwide railfan , Rail travel & trip reports
The only train trips I regret are the ones I didn't take.
User avatar
David Benton
 
Posts: 7809
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:29 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Cuba

Postby David Benton » Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:32 am

The man from Seat 61 website page on Cuba.
http://www.seat61.com/Cuba.htm#.VJPChsCQw
From the linked hotel page, 5 star hotels for under USD $ 100 per night.
Moderator worldwide railfan , Rail travel & trip reports
The only train trips I regret are the ones I didn't take.
User avatar
David Benton
 
Posts: 7809
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:29 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Cuba

Postby johnthefireman » Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:54 am

Thanks, David. My interest was piqued by this article in the Grauniad today: It’s not Cuba that has just decided to rejoin the modern world – it’s the US

Those of us who don't live in the western world tend to see Cuba in the light of the tremendous advances they have made in literacy and public health, and their great contribution towards assisting developing nations, particularly in the field of health (including the current ebola crisis), proportionately far greater than many larger and richer nations.
User avatar
johnthefireman
 
Posts: 1159
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:09 pm
Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Re: Cuba

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:54 am

Hat's off to the Manchester Guardian's columnist for that extremely balanced yet provocative work linked by Mr. Fireman.

Here is the noted Nicholas Kristoff column appearing in The New York Times yesterday:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/18/opini ... -cuba.html

If you want to see or hear what Rush and Sean think about this development, which I am on record predicting around here, well, "you're on your own".
Gilbert B Norman
 
Posts: 12832
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:52 am
Location: Clarendon Hills, IL (BNSF Aurora Sub; MP 18.71)

Re: Cuba

Postby george matthews » Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:55 am

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Hat's off to the Manchester Guardian's columnist for that extremely balanced yet provocative work linked by Mr. Fireman.

Here is the noted Nicholas Kristoff column appearing in The New York Times yesterday:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/18/opini ... -cuba.html

If you want to see or hear what Rush and Sean think about this development, which I am on record predicting around here, well, "you're on your own".

I find almost everything written by citizens of the US about Cuba deeply depressing.
george matthews
 
Posts: 4537
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 9:07 am
Location: Britain

Re: Cuba

Postby Ridgefielder » Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:50 pm

Politics to one side-- what about the Cuban railways? What are they like? Are the locomotives and rolling stock old Eastern Bloc junk, or are they pre-Revolutionary North American designs? Is it a reliable system?

I fiddled around on Wikipedia and Google a bit yesterday and discovered that Havana Central Station http://www.flyawaytrip.com/wp-content/images/image-cuba-13.jpg is absolutely gorgeous, although somewhat dilapidated.
Ridgefielder
 
Posts: 2299
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:22 pm
Location: Harlem Division MP 15

Re: Cuba

Postby Sir Ray » Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:21 pm

Ridgefielder wrote:Politics to one side-- what about the Cuban railways? What are they like? Are the locomotives and rolling stock old Eastern Bloc junk, or are they pre-Revolutionary North American designs? Is it a reliable system?

I fiddled around on Wikipedia and Google a bit yesterday

If you were fiddling around Wikipedia, then you must have come across the Railways of Cuba entry, where you would have read that
Cuba was able to obtain used trains and new locomotives, from friendly nations not affected by the embargo:
5 Type RSC18 locomotives were shipped from Canada
9 electrical motor coaches from Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) (Catalonian Government Railways) of Spain
Starting in 2000, the Cuban railway network was improved by more second hand equipment. More used vehicles were coming from Canada, Mexico and Europe. In 2002 used light rubbing cars (BR771) were acquired from Germany.
Much of Cuba's trains are diesel and only a handful of steam locomotives remain for the sugar industry and the tourism industries.
After the 1990s, China became the new supplier of railway cars for Cuba. In 2006, 12 new locomotives (Type DF7G-C at 2,500 hp or 1,900 kW) were shipped to Cuba. China Railways also sold some of its retired cars.

So, for the 21st Century the answer to where the locomotives and rolling stock are coming from is, as with so many things, China, with a lot of second-hand equipment from the Western World (except the US, of course).
Sir Ray
 
Posts: 2014
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:41 pm
Location: The Industrial Northeast

Re: Cuba

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:32 pm

Photos of Cuban railroad equipment; looks like they scrounge it from wherever they can get it.

http://www.ttnut.com/cuba-ferrocarriles ... 63-10.html

Additionally, I have seen photos of Swiss built Coaches acquired from Jamaica when passenger service there was discontinued; also stainless steel cars from France that once were assigned to "Le Mistral".
Gilbert B Norman
 
Posts: 12832
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:52 am
Location: Clarendon Hills, IL (BNSF Aurora Sub; MP 18.71)

Re: Cuba

Postby David Benton » Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:53 pm

There are interior shots of the french cars on the Seat61 Website link.
Moderator worldwide railfan , Rail travel & trip reports
The only train trips I regret are the ones I didn't take.
User avatar
David Benton
 
Posts: 7809
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:29 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Cuba

Postby george matthews » Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:33 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Photos of Cuban railroad equipment; looks like they scrounge it from wherever they can get it.

http://www.ttnut.com/cuba-ferrocarriles ... 63-10.html

Additionally, I have seen photos of Swiss built Coaches acquired from Jamaica when passenger service there was discontinued; also stainless steel cars from France that once were assigned to "Le Mistral".


scrounge = obtain, purchase.
george matthews
 
Posts: 4537
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 9:07 am
Location: Britain

Re: Cuba

Postby David Benton » Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:13 pm

Not sure what point you are making, George, I believe most rolling stock would be brought Secondhand up to now. that would fit many people's definiton of Scrounge.

Here is a article from England's right wing Daily Telegraph, perhaps to balance out the left wing Gaurdian's Article John linked too.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/ar ... d=11376994

Its amusing how we measure "westernisation" these days with the arrival of a MC'Donalds.

*John might see a little unintentional joke of mine in this post.I shall correct it if He does*.
Moderator worldwide railfan , Rail travel & trip reports
The only train trips I regret are the ones I didn't take.
User avatar
David Benton
 
Posts: 7809
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:29 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Cuba

Postby george matthews » Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:21 pm

David Benton wrote:Not sure what point you are making, George, I believe most rolling stock would be brought Secondhand up to now. that would fit many people's definiton of Scrounge.

Here is a article from England's right wing Daily Telegraph, perhaps to balance out the left wing Gaurdian's Article John linked too.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/ar ... d=11376994

Its amusing how we measure "westernisation" these days with the arrival of a MC'Donalds.

*John might see a little unintentional joke of mine in this post.I shall correct it if He does*.


"Scrounge" is a word which suggests low social status, and is part of what I regard as the paranoid attitude to Cuba so common in the US. (I don't read the Telegraph, although I was familar with it in my youth.) I think many Americans are afraid that Cuba might succeed and would like to make sure it doesn't. I think they would prefer it to have the sort of squalor and failure so common in such countries as Colombia.
george matthews
 
Posts: 4537
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 9:07 am
Location: Britain

Re: Cuba

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:56 pm

As our discussion moves forth with this landmark event occurring during 2014, let us consider a few reports I have seen in the several newspapers I read.

1) At present, the US, trade embargo notwithstanding, is the fourth largest exporter to Cuba. China, Spain, Brazil in that order exceed the US.

2) American Airlines, the dominant US carrier in the Caribbean, operates 20 some flights to Cuba each week.

Moral: Cuba is not as closed as some might think; it is not North Korea.

There was an anecdote I was recently exposed to; one of the technologists at my opthamologist's office is a twentysomething girl. I asked her where she was from? "Cuba , Mr. Norman". Getting ready to hear a story of danger on a raft, I asked how she got here? "On a plane with my family". First we took one to Mexico DF, then another to Chicago".

While certainly a significant event this year, it's not Nixon reaching the detente with China.
Gilbert B Norman
 
Posts: 12832
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:52 am
Location: Clarendon Hills, IL (BNSF Aurora Sub; MP 18.71)

Re: Cuba

Postby philipmartin » Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:42 pm

george matthews wrote: the paranoid attitude to Cuba so common in the US.

Sorry George- it's not paranoia, its realism.
User avatar
philipmartin
 
Posts: 3652
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:42 pm
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

PreviousNext

Return to Worldwide Railfan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest