Railway Museum, thesaurus of our history

Railway Museum, thesaurus of our history

Heritage & Traditions

By Sandra Portilla

The Cuban Railway Museum is a place located in the old Cristina Station in Old Havana, which was the main one of the Western Railway Company, founded in 1859.

This institution contains the history of the railroad in Cuba and was inaugurated November 19, 2002, the same day it was declared a National Monument.

The so-called “iron road” set in Cuba meant a great step forward for the economic and commercial development of the Island, since with the presence of the railroad, the time used to travel the distances was shortened and later used to facilitate the massive transportation of passengers from one point to another in the country.

This constituted an important event, since it occurred in an important colony in America rather than in the European metropolis, known at that time as the Motherland. Cuba would then become the first country of Latin America, second in the western hemisphere  and sixth in the world to have a railway system.

In the museum can be seen narrow gauge steam locomotives,  also Diesel and Electric, photographs, documents, means used for the movement of trains and signals.

One of the most emblematic pieces of the museum is the machine named "Locomotive La Junta" built in 1842, which arrived in Matanzas, in January 1843.

This was, from 1843 until the 90s, the main locomotive of the Matanzas Railway. Between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, Ferrocarriles Unidos de La Habana acquires and unifies the railways of that province, and when it builds the Central Station, it takes said Locomotive to that place.