ALCo power in Cuba

RS-18 Four ex-Canadian National RS-18 were sold to Cuba, 91401 works for the Acinox steel plant at Cotorro near Habana. Seen here on March 10, 2003.

Christoph Grimm photo

Cuba still is a difficult country to travel, except for the tourist resorts along the coast. Hence, information isn't too easy to get. Phil Wormald visted Cuba in 1998 and traveled extensively by train. You find his interesting report in the library of the ALCo World. The Cuban National Railways still rosters a number of Russian RSD-1 copies (TE1 model). Fifty MLW MX-624 were introduced in 1975/76. Twelve Alco FA2 and a couple of second hand RS models made it also to the communistic island. All FAs should be retired now, there was nothing heard of them since the early 80s!

Four Canadian National RS-18, which were rebuilt in 1976/76 with A1A-trucks from retired RSC-13 and -24 and derated to 1400 hp, were sold in the late 1990s to Cuba. The ex CN nos. are 1750, 1751, 1761 and 1786. Some sources call them RSC-14.

MLW MX-624 no. 52 443 with a train to Pinar del Rio at Habana Central on March 10, 2003. The train consists mostly of hand-me-down coaches (Bn "Silberling" type - with windows that open, Phil!) from Germany, repainted similar to the German cream and blue color scheme of the 1970s . The MLW already has the new blue colors.

Christoph Grimm photo
Habana central
cuba fa A preserved ALCo FA2 in an amusement park at Baconao near Santiago de Cuba. It's stripped internally and will slowly rust away near the seaside.

Ray Gardiner photo
FC de Cuba 51605 (ALCo FA2, former 1605, built 1951) at San Luis, March 25th, 1981
David R. Busse photo
fc52442.jpg FCC 52445 at Habana Central, May 1998

Phil Wormald photo
FC de Cuba 51038 (TEM1, a Soviet RSD1 copy) at Guines, March 30th, 1981
David R. Busse photo
cub51501.jpg FC de Cuba 51501 (RS2 ex Napierville Jct.) at Hershey, March 31st, 1981
David R. Busse photo

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Last update 28.04.03