Sancti Spiritus Rescues Ancient Railroad Station

Juan Antonio Borrego

Railroad SS
The newly repaired railroad station, located in the district of Colón, has kept
its original pattern. (Photo: Vicente Brito / Escambray).

The picturesque edifice was built in 1864, when the railroad lines that linked the location with the seaport of Tunas de Zaza —almost 40 kilometers away— were inaugurated

A great deal of the stories known about south Sancti Spiritus have been lived, told, and even written in the railway station located in the district of Colón, in this city. It is a picturesque edifice of regional patrimonial value built in 1864, when the railroad lines that linked the location with the seaport of Tunas de Zaza —almost 40 kilometers away— were inaugurated.

According to Sancti Spiritus city’s historian María Antonieta Jiménez Margolles, the old iron road emerged from the boom of the sugar industry and the need to connect the city with the port. It was approved by Royal Order of August 31, 1859 and was executed by Arreguí and Company. On December 25, 1861, a request was presented to open the first section of the rails.

The railway station was in great need of repair given its high degree of deterioration worsened at the beginning of last year when it was hit by a derailed motor car. The site was reopened in the context of the festivities for the 505th anniversary of the village after being completely restored. It was also provided with comfortable furniture which makes the travelers’ stay more pleasant.

Essentially used by residents of the rural communities of southern Sancti Spiritus —Paredes, Guasimal, Tayabacoa, Tunas de Zaza, El Medano, among others— the rejuvenated station was also equipped with a reservation desk which sells tickets even for plain trips.

Rolando Navarro Hernández, deputy director of the Unión de Ferrocarriles (Railroad Union) in Cuba, said that this is one of the island’s few patrimonial rail station that has been repaired thoroughly by keeping its original pattern.

Sancti Spiritus branch line is also linked to the Central Railroad, via Zaza del Medio. In addition to providing services for passengers, it is used to take goods to and from the provincial capital city, including sugar cane from the south region to the Melanio Hernández Sugar Mill, in the municipality of Taguasco.

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