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Lineas Cubanas

'LINEAS CUBANAS' - Cuban Lines

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'LINEAS CUBANAS' are a series of Proto-Freelanced HO Model Railroads

 

Starting with a diorama (Canta Rana) then moving onto a switching layout (Escenas Habanas) and ultimately progressing to a room sized shelf layout

 

They are set against a background of rundown sugar mills and tobacco farms in the extremely spartan living of Fidel Castro’s Socialist Republic of the 1990s-2000s. They attempt to recreate images and thoughts of Cuba – the coffee grove covered hills; the splendid colonial architecture; the Yank-Tanks of 1950s America; the sounds of Buena Vista Social Club echoing down the street; and the smell of thick Cuban cigars mixing with the sweet aroma of freshly cut cane.

 

COMING SOON

Edited by Lineas Cubanas
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Look forward to seeing it.

Just booked for another trip next year.

Not noticed any coffee groves in Cuba, but as I don't like the drink I wouldn't pay attention.

Rapido Trains might be a good start GMD-1 in FCC livery.

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Sounds very exotic.

I love the "film" poster, directed by Alfred Hitchcock? Conjures up some wonderful images of dusky maidens attempting to lure one with smokey ceegars!

Can't wait for more.

John.

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Look forward to seeing it.

Just booked for another trip next year.

Not noticed any coffee groves in Cuba, but as I don't like the drink I wouldn't pay attention.

Rapido Trains might be a good start GMD-1 in FCC livery.

 

Thanks.....

 

Indeed, Rapido Trains did produce a GMD-1 for the Ferrocarriles de Cuba.

 

Twenty GMD-1 locos entered service in Cuba between late 1999 and 2001 mostly still in Canadian National colours and with their CN numbers.

They were gradually repainted into a “standard” blue/grey/black livery (although the shade of blue varies considerably). Some had numbers painted on the CN livery. 

   

It must have been realised early on that in B+B configuration exceeded the permitted axle load on many lines including the elevated tracks into Havana Central Station. It is believed a decision was made to standardise on A1A+B with the 2 axle truck under the cab. As is often the case in Cuba plans go awry and even today locos remain in CN colours and the truck configurations vary.

   

The class has been very successful in Cuba, operating out of Moron, Santa Clara, Cienfuegos and Havana. They are rarely if ever seen East of Moron. They are used on secondary passenger services, station pilot duties, especially in Havana and on some freight turns.

 

For the time period I am modelling, I have chosen to keep my GMD-1 in its original CN colours.........

 

post-30675-0-14499200-1481208705_thumb.jpg

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Sounds very exotic.

I love the "film" poster, directed by Alfred Hitchcock? Conjures up some wonderful images of dusky maidens attempting to lure one with smokey ceegars!

Can't wait for more.

John.

 

 

Thanks John

 

Yes, thats right Hitchcock. Just trying to help create an atmosphere and it looks like it's worked for you.......at least

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If you like me have been out of the hobby for a while…….well 30 years to be precise, reading as many articles and looking at photos of inspirational model railroads is a good way to get the creative juices flowing and focus the mind. However, it can also have the opposite effect: planning can suddenly become very daunting, let alone construction a distant dream. One question that continually returned me to my comfy armchair was how was I to achieve the standards set in the modelling press?

 

The last time I built a model railway I was 12 years old. Did I say I built it? I meant my father who was the carpenter, electrician and scenery maker all in one. I did paint the road markings though and completely over scale. Now aged 44 with two young children and full-time career in London, I wasn’t sure if I had the skills and experience to build a convincing representation of the Ferrocarriles de Cuba in model form. 

 

Lets face it…….it was essentially going to be my first ever layout.

 

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This is the test module/diorama (Canta Rana) based on an abandoned Acopio, once part of the line to the now dismantled Siete de Noviembre Sugar Mill in Sancti Spiritus Province.

 

I had made a list of all the things that I felt I would have to model well in order to convey the images and atmosphere of Cuba including the tropical scenery, the reddish brown soil and the run down weed infested track……After all, if you cannot do the basics what would be the point in investing time, energy and money in a larger layout that ultimately wouldn’t meet my standards and goals? 

 

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The aim was to create a cohesive and operable scene that would convey the overall look and theme of my would be larger layout. I could also use this diorama to photograph and test Cuba’s unique blend of rolling stock. The diorama would feature an ordinary scene from Cuba: just gentle countryside with a few tracks running through it. Some trees including Cuban Palms. Telegraph poles. Just an everyday, almost mundane scene. No buildings. 

 

KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)

 

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Having become disillusioned with the lack of variety in UK railways, I looked overseas for inspiration. Initially attracted to US prototypes, I still had a great interest in European Railways. A combination of both and more can found in Cuba.

 

The Ferrocarriles de Cuba is a truly international railway

 

Freight cars can be of USSR and Romanian style and make though again some old American cars remain. There are reefers and closed hoppers imported from Argentina. Secondhand boxcars and tank cars from Canada and motive power from USSR, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, UK, France and US. Throw into this mix many home-made Cuban efforts from cabooses to crew cars to sugar cane cars.

 

Freight Cars and Motive Power from USSR

 

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USSR Box Car in Grain Service

 

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USSR Silo Diesel

 

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Tolvas

 

Tolvas are covered hoppers of USSR origin used for transporting bulk sugar by MINAZ. The base models are Walthers 40′ Ortner Hoppers (RTR) as these were the closest cars to the prototype that I found that could be easily kit-bashed and used as an effective base model.

 

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M62K Loco

 

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TEM 4K Loco

Edited by Lineas Cubanas
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Reading between the lines, Rapido made about "Two Dozen" FCC liveried bodies last year and there are three in the UK (don't ask me how I know...).

 

I'm modelling the Hershey in the 1950s era and the small Mill inspired layout is at the first fix scenery stage although I've yet to do anything about the buildings. Looking at your very nice scene makes me wish I'd gone for something more rural.

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Reading between the lines, Rapido made about "Two Dozen" FCC liveried bodies last year and there are three in the UK (don't ask me how I know...).

 

I'm modelling the Hershey in the 1950s era and the small Mill inspired layout is at the first fix scenery stage although I've yet to do anything about the buildings. Looking at your very nice scene makes me wish I'd gone for something more rural.

 

One of the three's mine.I recall one being pre ordered and at the third sold off stand at Warley.

Modified class 47 diesels (T975) built Clayton Derby and BUDD railcars readily available. On of the BUDD's was ex Via Rail.

Narrow gauge has awhile feast of options. Even British built Brush S1(3 foot gauge)  https://www.flickr.com/photos/kevin-staddon/3349503441/in/dateposted-public/ (one of my pic's)

Some more dumped in an old depot.

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Reading between the lines, Rapido made about "Two Dozen" FCC liveried bodies last year and there are three in the UK (don't ask me how I know...).

 

I'm modelling the Hershey in the 1950s era and the small Mill inspired layout is at the first fix scenery stage although I've yet to do anything about the buildings. Looking at your very nice scene makes me wish I'd gone for something more rural.

 

 

I think one of the advantages (or disadvantages) of modelling Cuba is that even urban scenes can look fairly rural once you have put the 'green blanket' down

 

My switching layout is loosely based on the Talleres at Cienaga, Havana which services locos, passenger stock and railcars (it will also include a freight car works for variety and operational interest) is looking pretty rural at the moment too!

 

Let me know if you need any info regarding boxcars used in Cuba in the 1950s and suitable models. I even have some decals somewhere you can use

Edited by Lineas Cubanas
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One of the three's mine.I recall one being pre ordered and at the third sold off stand at Warley.

Modified class 47 diesels (T975) built Clayton Derby and BUDD railcars readily available. On of the BUDD's was ex Via Rail.

Narrow gauge has awhile feast of options. Even British built Brush S1(3 foot gauge)  https://www.flickr.com/photos/kevin-staddon/3349503441/in/dateposted-public/ (one of my pic's)

Some more dumped in an old depot.

 

Yes, I did consider modelling the Class 47 but my layout is HO scale and obviously Class 47s that are readily available tend to be OO scale. I do have a Budd for the layout but unfortunately am sticking to modelling the standard gauge railways of Cuba so we won't be seeing any narrow gauge locos (although the Brush engine would certainly make a very cool model)

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Keep an eye on the British H0 scale society!

http://www.british-ho.com/   https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/british-ho/info

One of our members is working on producing a H0 scale class 47 so eventually, this could be a good start for a Cuban version?

Food for though, hopefully.

Cheers,

John.

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Freight Cars and Motive Power from Canada

 

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Storage & Tool Car – Ex GTW Box Car

 

This model is based on a prototype photo that was taken of a grounded Grand Trunk Western steel boxcar which is used for MOW storage in Santa Clara today. Obviously, since I am modelling the 1990s-2000s the boxcar has been back dated to being in actual MOW service. It started life as a Branchline Blueprint Series kit. It has been weathered and the existing lettering faded to reflect years of running in the Cuban sun. Kadee brake hoses, Kadee #58 couplers and FC decals have been added.

 

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Cisterna ECASA

 

The ECASA Services usually run between Camaguey and Havana although they have been seen before around Cacocum in Holguin and around Santiago Old station yard. On the left of the car, it reads JET-A1 which is a type of fuel oil for aircraft engines. I understand these tank cars carry the fuel to storage facilities at airports in Cuba, primarily Havana. This is one of the few special FCC freight assignments. Another one is ACINOX which is it’s own entity with its own locos and cars. The ECASA tank cars are of Canadian origin. The model is an undecorated Atlas 20,700 gallon tank car painted and weathered using prototype photos. All other markings are related to capacity, weight, A or B end and the number of the car.

 

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ACINOX RSC-14 Loco

Edited by Lineas Cubanas
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Are any of the Cuban class 47's still around, or have they all been scrapped years / decades ago ? Are there any interesting photo's and info on 'tinternet about them in service and after withdrawal ?  Just curious to know what became of them, cheers  :)  

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Are any of the Cuban class 47's still around, or have they all been scrapped years / decades ago ? Are there any interesting photo's and info on 'tinternet about them in service and after withdrawal ?  Just curious to know what became of them, cheers  :)  

 

They were all scrapped around 1999.

Class 47 website has some under construction and there are a few on flickr after withdrawal. I have some builders photos from W W Winter of Derby. There was an article a few years ago in Traction magazine.

Most were stored at Cardenas and photos exist of a line up of them. They are no longer there as I have walked the area and could find no remains.

 

Kev

Edited by stadman

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This is the inspiration for my switching layout loosely based on the Talleres at Cienaga, Havana which services locos, passenger stock and railcars.

 

On my layout it will also include a freight car works for variety and operational interest

 

Edited by Lineas Cubanas

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A bit of a coincidence, but last night I watched a TV programme  in the 'Tough Trains' series (ep5) on the Travel Channel on SKY which featured Cuban Railways. 

 

Although the presenter, Ian Wright (not the footballer) is a bit annoying ,the programme was fascinating. Loads of old US and Soviet built diesels and of course those old 50s US autos.

 

Well worth catching up with this programme, it was broadcast at 5.00pm on Saturday 28th January and may well be repeated.

 

And by the way, the layout looks superb!

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A bit of a coincidence, but last night I watched a TV programme  in the 'Tough Trains' series (ep5) on the Travel Channel on SKY which featured Cuban Railways. 

 

Although the presenter, Ian Wright (not the footballer) is a bit annoying ,the programme was fascinating. Loads of old US and Soviet built diesels and of course those old 50s US autos.

 

Well worth catching up with this programme, it was broadcast at 5.00pm on Saturday 28th January and may well be repeated.

 

And by the way, the layout looks superb!

 

 

Hi there

 

Thanks for the heads up re the programme. I will definitely seek it out

 

And thanks for the kind comments re the layout

 

Regards

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Some more progress...........

 

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Any constructive criticism is welcome!

Edited by Lineas Cubanas
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Heading for the real thing Thursday (PTG Tours of Wantage)

Hope some TU7 photos for the guy who's making the models which I might back up with an order.

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Heading for the real thing Thursday (PTG Tours of Wantage)

Hope some TU7 photos for the guy who's making the models which I might back up with an order.

 

I don't suppose you're going to Hershey...? I have drawn a GE Steeplecab for 3d printing but am needing dimensions from a modified square hooded loco (the last one in the world being plinthed there), and the Spanish railcars from scratch too...

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Any constructive criticism is welcome!

Very nice, but your workbench is too tidy...

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....  constructive criticism is welcome!

 you were certainly paying attention to your Father's work.

 

not many will acknowledge the need to master the basics nor overdue the scene with distracting elements.

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