Photo Feature by Elio Delgado Valdés

The Hershey electric railway.

HAVANA TIMES – Between the town of Casablanca, on the other side of the Bay of Havana and Matanzas, extends the only electric railway in Cuba, known as the Hershey Train.

The electrified track was built in 1916 by the Hershey Corporation, the chocolate manufacturer in Pennsylvania, United States, in order to transport sugar from the mill of the same name, in Santa Cruz del Norte, 45 kilometers from Havana, and also the workers who came from the capital.

The story goes that Milton S. Hershey, Pennsylvania chocolate magnate, bought more than 24,000 hectares of sugar cane fields and built a plant for the large-scale production of chocolate.

The train was built in 1917 in Pennsylvania and had 17 cars, of which there are still three.

Currently, the Hershey train makes two daily trips from Havana to Matanzas, with two cars, passing through the center of the old sugar mill.

Both the railroad tracks and the train cars have recently received repairs, to make it a faster and more pleasant trip.

This photo essay shows some details of the trip of the segment from Havana to the former Hershey sugar mill.

Click on the thumbnails below to view all the photos in this gallery. On your PC or laptop, you can use the directional arrows on the keyboard to move within the gallery. On cell phones use the keys on the screen.


8 thoughts on “Cuba’s only Electric Train, the Hershey

  • Sorry, zero, nationalized by Fidel.

  • It’s time to return to Cuba. i come from Harrisburg, a few miles from Hershey Pennsylvania, many kids in Harrisburg spent some time in Hershey. Mr Hershey was special. (Always referred to as Mr Hershey ). He built a business paradise in Pennsylvania, the town that bears his name is wealthy, and still very pretty. The street lights on the main street still have huge silver Hersheys Kisses as the finial on each light standard. The factory on main st is painted chocolate brown, and has quite a flower garden. Mr Hershey had a social conscience for his day but it had to make business sense to him. He built a company town, the concept is vilified today. My mother came from a company town in the Pennsylvania anthracite coal regions, not that far from Hershey maybe 50 miles north. Coal company towns did not and do not resemble Hershey Pennsylvania.

    He tried to do similar work in Cuba. It did not last 100 years. He employed, he housed, he cared for an enterprise. At some point, he didn’t make money or anticipated loss.

    Remember that everything he did in Cuba came with a profit and loss statement. But he has left a positive legacy. That is a good thing. The little railroad needs some work. Hire people to do that. Si o no?

  • What will be the return to the people who are holding stock in the electric plant in cuba.

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