Train Service Between Pinar del Río and Havana Resumes After Years of Interruption

Monday, May 13, 2024 by Ethan Navarro

Train Service Between Pinar del Río and Havana Resumes After Years of Interruption
Tren de Pinar del Río a La Habana - Imagen de © Facebook Periódico Guerrillero

After nearly four years of disrupted service, the railroad link between Pinar del Río and Havana is now operational again, reconnecting hundreds of travelers. Sander Lescano Peralta, the Operations Chief at the Pinar del Río station, confirmed to Guerrillero that about 200 residents boarded the train this morning for Havana.

The Cuban government has made improvements to the four train cars, which had been out of service since 2020 due to technical issues with the fleet and complications from the COVID-19 pandemic. The train will run twice a week, with departures from Pinar del Río on Mondays and Thursdays at 09:00 am. Return trips from Havana are scheduled for Tuesdays and Fridays, departing at 11:00 am from the "19 de Noviembre" station in Tulipán.

Ticket prices are set at 100 CUP for the full journey, with fares for intermediate stops priced at 10 CUP. The train has a capacity of approximately 280 passengers, and the estimated travel time is seven hours, owing to multiple stops along the route.

This schedule and pricing structure are designed to meet the needs of regular travelers between these two provinces. The government has touted this service as a "reliable and economical" alternative to other forms of transportation. Prior to its suspension in 2020, the train carried between 450 and 500 passengers per trip. Technical problems with the Canadian locomotive and coaches, coupled with a lack of resources for repairs due to economic constraints, were the main reasons for the service halt.

The train service from Havana to Pinar del Río has resumed, but it now operates at half the capacity it did three years ago, reflecting ongoing challenges in maintaining full operational capabilities under the strained economic conditions in Cuba.

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