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TBT: Costa Rica’s Pacific Railroad in Puntarenas

October 17, 2019

Costa Rica’s Pacific Railroad (Ferrocarril al Pacifico) provided an important link between the capital of San José and Puntarenas, one of the country’s most important port cities.

In the late 1800s, various attempts were made to extend rail service from San José to Puntarenas.

Work on this line began in 1897 but went only as far as Orotina before financial troubles paralyzed the country as well as the railway, and it was not until 1910 that the line was completed.

The first steam locomotive, the María Cecilia, built in Pennsylvania and named after the granddaughter of former President Rafael Iglesias, began runs to Orotina in 1898.

In 1928, Costa Rica inaugurated an electric railroad to the Pacific which operated until the 1990s.

Electric locomotive
The electric train at the Railroad Museum in Río Grande de Alajuela. Mitzi Stark/The Tico Times

 

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