HAVANA, May 14th   The rail connection for passengers between the Cuban cities of Havana and Holguin (east), which has been paralyzed since 2006, will be restored in the second half of this year,

as part of a recovery program for the deteriorated sector that foresees an investment of about 3,000 million dollars.

The train that will cover the Havana-Holguín stretch will have the capacity to transport 720 passengers to different destinations with 12 cars imported from China, state newspaper Granma reported Monday.

In the face of the reopening of the service, work is being carried out to restore heritage values ​​and expand the facilities of the Holguín Railway Terminal, located 770 kilometers east of Havana.

In an initial stage the departure will be every three days and during the trip will make a stop in the western towns of Jaruco, Matanzas, Colón, Santa Clara, Guayos, Ciego de Ávila, Camagüey, and the eastern Las Tunas and Cacocum, as explained the head of the commercial department of the Unión de Ferrocarriles de Holguín, Ada Iris Quevedo.

The critical state of passenger transport by rail was addressed by a committee of the Parliament of the island in a report presented in December 2018 that reported breaks in railways, bridges and level crossings, as well as the low availability of locomotives, wagons of cargo, passenger and motor cars, which limits services.
The rail system of the Caribbean country has 8,194 kilometers of railways, 1,839 bridges, 4,567 level crossings, more than 21,000 workers in the sector, 252 stations, more than 500 locomotives, 13,468 freight cars, 20 motor cars and more than 230 passenger cars, according to data from the Ministry of Transport.

The state program put in place to modernize national rail transportation also includes the eastern destinations of Guantánamo and Granma, with the same frequency as Holguín, and also Santiago de Cuba, on alternate days.

This plan to recover the railway system also provides for the rehabilitation of its main roads through a joint project with Russia in which an investment of about 1,000 million euros (equivalent to about 1,123 million dollars) is planned up to 2030.

Translated from EFE