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C e n t r a l   A m e r i c a


Costa Rica Northern Railway no.59 from Baldwin, on exhibition at San Jose, Estacion al Atlantico, 2006 (WS)

Electric engine no.33 of F.E. al P. at San Jose, Estacion al Pacifico, August 1978 (Christian Tietze)

Costa Rica had completed a Cape gauge Pacific railroad from the capital San Jose to the harbor Puntarenas in 1879 and the Atlantic railroad to Limon in 1890. Towards 1930 the Pacific line was electrified with 15kV ac and in 1982 also a section on the Atlantic became electrified. Fecosa's diesel-hauled blue train connected San Jose with Limon on the Caribbean, but in 1991 an earthquake destroyed the track through the jungles. In the new century a train from San Jose to Caldera on the Pacific was the only passenger service by Incofer.

An Intercontinental Railway had been a goal for Central America, but it connected not even Costa Rica with neighboring Nicaragua, and Honduras' railway remained isolated. The International Railways of Central America (IRCA) had built from 1884 3ft-gauge railroads in Guatemala and Salvador, initiated by American investors. Later the Fegua ran trains with Baldwin Mikados between Ciudad Guatemala, the Caribbean, the Pacific and the border stations close to Salvador and Mexico. Civil war destroyed the network. In the new century a steam-hauled tourist train started at Ciudad Guatemala. As the task of railways in Central America always was agricultural transport to the next harbor, the Intercontinental Railway connecting all the countries remained an unfulfilled dream.

Another dream is a canal crossing Nicaragua. The international Sit/Global group recently examined also a cheaper way by a railroad Bluefields - Corinto. Its task would be the transport of containers from ships too big for the Panama Canal.


Special saloons of Fegua, stored at Guatemala, 1972 (Dr. Fritz Stoeckl)

Honduras, passenger train with diesel 610 after arrival at Tela, Jan.1992 (Thomas Wunschel)



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