ZAFRA 2002 ReporT         




211 Ruben Martinez Villena.
Mill closed. The intermills were to Roble, where trains were exchanged with diesels. Usually this then formed a regular train to mill 205 with bagged sugar from mill 212 and the cane from mill 211. The tank locos were not used and are becoming increasingly decrepit. 1112 was steamed by arrangement and on one occasion 1207, but it failed before it left the shed yard. Without continued official visits their future is bleak. 1502/1702 in use. 1605 under overhaul.

212 Boris Luis Santa Coloma.
Steam not seen in use. 1511/1512/1604 have disappeared, believed scrapped.

303 Australia.
It was not a good year for Australia. Left reeling after November's hurricane Michelle, the mill was to suffer another tragedy on March 2nd, when at 8pm on Saturday evening, 1513 ran out of water 3km. from the mill on a loaded cane train. The resulting boiler explosion lifted it clean off the chassis, taking the cab with it. The injuries suffered by the fireman were serious, while those inflicted on the driver proved fatal. Three other crew were also hurt.

The impact of the hurricane left the area surrounding the mill almost unrecognisable to regular visitors. Many of the buildings have been destroyed by falling trees and the area where the pilot used to sit in the shade has changed completely. The mill's roof was quickly replaced and the line from the shed to the arrivals yard was re-laid at a higher level on top of the previous formation. This had the effect of severing the triangle used to turn locos at the mill. All steam services left the mill tender-first on the empties. A new triangle was laid at the east end of the yard, but on inspection it was deemed too tight to even turn a wagon!

A considerable number of cane cars were totally destroyed and were scrapped, leaving a severe shortage. Early season trains were short. Additional cars were brought in by road from mill 321 Cairo. The expected problems for cutting by machine largely did not materialise and only the two brigades of hand-cutters normally used, were deployed.

The mill started the year with 4 available locos, 1515 and 1716 being under overhaul. On February 5th the completion of 1716's overhaul was considered to only be 1 week away. But by February 18th only 1607 was serviceable and 1518 was drafted in from mill 302 Reynold Garcia. After 1513's demise, first one, then a second diesel arrived, and these then handled the majority of trains. By April 2nd 1716 overhaul was almost complete with the loco painted black but not lettered or numbered. Can more diesels be expected in 2003? The new Centro Limpiesa LP only saw slight use. 1314 has disappeared, believed scrapped.

304 Granma/318 Victoria de Yaguajay.
As 2001. 1713/1714/1812 in use.

305 Puerto Rico Libre.
Mill closed with intermills diesel.

306 Cuba Libre.
Line work to Pedroso, which was diesel early in the season, was steam later on, even though the mill was down to 1 working steam loco by April. 1610 was fresh from overhaul, but 1410 was damaged in a LP incident at the start of April and 1611 was in very poor condition. 1612 and 1808 under overhaul. More working steam promised for 2003. Further parts of Navajas station roof and many of the trees on the mill approach road have been destroyed.

314 Jesus Rabi.
As 2001 with the 2 centenarians and 1414 in use, despite the usual periods of total inactivity.

315 Jose Smith Comas.
Largely as 2001 except that mill 321 Cairo cane is now collected as part of the run to Delirio. This was one of the few mills with regular early morning activity in 2002. 1415 was damaged in a collision late season, which prompted 1614 to be sent by mill 321 as a replacement.

319 Rene Fraga.
As 2001. 1820 in use on shunt and to the adjacent LP's.

320 Juan Avila.
No diesels this year, back to 100% steam, but the northern line has been lost to lorry traffic. 1807 capable of storming Vellocino bank with 15 loads. Mill claim it was another good Zafra.

321 Julio Reyes Cairo.
Mill closed. Cane collected from Los Modas LP by mill 315. 1614 ended the year at mill 315.

403 Mal Tiempo.
As 2001. The Vega Ceiba LP is not likely to reopen. 1322 not seen in use. 1221 continues under overhaul. The mill is planning another steam festival for the end of November 2002.

404 Ciudad Caracas.
Mainline work was quite often steam again this year in addition to shunting duties. 1538 and 1621 in use. Staff claim that 1725 will be ready for the November festival!

405 Luis Arcos Bergnes.
Mill closed with cane only coming into the LP near to the main road. The intermills to Jose Maria Perez were with mill 411's diesels or mill 405's steam. Late season runs were mainly diesel. 1823 is now marked up as a Bergnes loco. All except 1541 in use. 1346, plinthed at the main road junction at end of April 2001, has been painted up with the number 1343!

409 Antonio Sanchez.
Steam in use for shunting and to the adjacent LP. 1629 under overhaul.

412 Juan Pedro Carbo Servia.
Mill closed with intermills diesel. 1728 in use for the shunt and to the Centro Limpiesa LP. The overhaul of 1727 has made some slow progress.

413 Espartaco.
Mill closed again. 1326 used for some charter work. 1329 deemed serviceable, but finance is required to complete the overhaul of the two firelesses and the other two 2-8-0's. This is unlikely to be forthcoming if the mill continues to be closed.

424 Primero de Mayo.
Mill closed with intermills to mill 409 diesel. 1543 & 1848 available for work. The long term overhauls of 1544/5 continue.

427 Quintin Banderas.
1547/8 on shunt. Security as tight as ever for unofficial visitors.

428 Marcelo Salado.
As 2001, with steam intermills to Batalla de Santa Clara. The Caibarien honey factory turn now involves bringing the tankers back to the mill. 1343 under overhaul. 1147 out of use.

433 Marta Abreu.
Mill closed and formally amalgamated with mill 403. Intermills to 403 by diesel. 1239 stored after it's appearance at the Mal Tiempo Festival. Will we see 1239 in use at 403 next year?

434 Panchito Gomez Toro.
1626 in use on shunt and to the adjacent LP.

435 Hermanos Ameijeiras.
Sole remaining 1431 in use on charter work.

437 Carlos Carraballo.
Mill closed. 1550 under overhaul this year. No sign of 1556, presumed scrapped.

438 Ramon Ponciano.
1552 on shunt duties and some line work if the diesels are not in use. 1634 under overhaul.

440 Ifrain Alfonso.
The mill report less cane this year and the morning train to Pozo usually did not run. The Pelayo branch was not used. The mill failed on a number of occasions and there were quite a number of steam intermills in both directions with mill 441.  1910 reported to have covered some line work for mill 441. 1637 under overhaul.