1230 train leaves and breaks, as I was warned 100 meters down the track. It went twice the length of itself and that is all she had. Seats are for prison guards from the 1950's, tickets are 1000% for gringos of what the Cubans pay so it broke my daily allowance putting a whole dollar fifty dent in my pocket. Train attendant asked me to follow him to the front for better photos. I had no idea that meant in the conductors booth. A hefty, black and shiny bald headed man was the train’s captain, and with both doors open on either side of him he had the coolest seat on the train. Train from Barcelona. Had Catalan language. Coxe (car.... choche)...imported in the late 90's. Original was American. He drove the train15 years. Politics... sugar USA company then Russia supported the sugar refinery... USSR pays good price for Cuban sugar. Educated. 1200V and he motions game over if you touched the electric lines. Driver reminds me that the factory is closed. Toots the train horn. I ask if I can do that. He smiles and gets up out of his chairs and says, hell you can drive. I really didn’t do much more than make the train whistle. Back to my seat. Nice couple. More talk about US, USSR, Cuba and sugar. I was better informed that it was not only closed when the USSR fell apart, but that you could actually still walk around in the factory. as the 1 hour ride turned into more than two, the older gentleman who lived another hour passed where I was getting off pointed to some smoke stacks in the distance on the hill and said, that is the factory. I was the only white dude on the train, felt like an adventure. Train rickety, holes in the floor, rope to increase or relax tension for the electric conductors overhead, rust, missing screws and wobble wobble wobble.
© branson Q 360 °