Riding Cuba’s railroad, one of the oldest in the world

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HAVANA, Cuba — The National Railway Company of Cuba, Ferrocarriles de Cuba, is the sixth oldest railroad in the world, having opened its first 17-mile long route in 1837. Now the railway covers more than 2,600 miles, stretching from Havana in the west to Santiago de Cuba on the eastern coast.

It has a reputation for being the cheapest — but also the slowest — way to travel from one side of the country to the other.

Passengers wait to board the train in the Central Station in Havana.

A man looks out of the railway car at a passing train that is heading west, to Havana, near the town of San Luis.

The trip from Havana to Santiago de Cuba can take 20 hours, while driving would take about half the time. Tourists and many Cubans choose not to take the train because of its unreliability: It often breaks down or is delayed, sometimes for multiple days. Read more…

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