When Benito Prats Respall was a boy, he and his father José Prats Amat (everyone called him Pepe) set off by train to visit Benito’s aunt and Pepe’s sister Primitiva Prats Amat. She lived in Omaja, which back in the 1920s was a very small crossroad on the main line of the Cuba Railroad in what was then Oriente Province. (Omaja is now in the new Las Tunas Province).
Just like in the U.S., Cuban railroads were privately built and operated. The Cuba Railroad, built by the Canadian railroad magnate Sir William Van Horne of Canadian transcontinental railroad fame, opened in 1902. The main line ran some 357 miles from Cuba’s esternmost city Santiago de Cuba through Camaguey and on to Santa Clara. The United Railroads of Havana, built earlier with British backing, continued 178 more miles from Santa Clara to Cuba’s capital Havana and other points west. When it opened, The Cuba Railroad, headquartered in Camaguey, quickly turned that sleepy provincial city into a vibrant commercial center, and its population quadrupled by 1928. The railroads ended Camaguey’s isolation from the rest of the country, shortening the time to get to Havana from 3 days by steamship to 15 hours by train....SEGUIR LEYENDO
Entrada relacionada: Omaja, uno de los pueblos que nacieron gracias al Ferrocarril Central