Havana Central railway station
Havana Central is the main railway terminal in Havana
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of — making it the largest city in the Caribbean region, and the most populous...

 and the largest railway station in Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, is the hub of the rail system in the country. Today, the Central Station serves for the arrival and departure of national and divisional commuter trains, and is home to the national railway company, Ferrocarriles Nacionales de Cuba
Ferrocarriles de Cuba
Ferrocarriles de Cuba or Ferrocarriles Nacionales de Cuba , the only railway operating in the Caribbean islands, provides passenger and freight services for Cuba.-Route Network:...

 (FCC), the only intercity passenger rail transport operating in the Caribbean.

It is considered a National monument
National monument
A National monument is a monument constructed in order to commemorate something of national importance such as a war or the country's founding. The term may also refer to a specific monument status, such as a National Heritage Site, which most national monuments are by reason of their cultural...

 for its architectural and historical values​​.


The eclectic
Eclecticism is a conceptual approach that does not hold rigidly to a single paradigm or set of assumptions, but instead draws upon multiple theories, styles, or ideas to gain complementary insights into a subject, or applies different theories in particular cases.It can sometimes seem inelegant or...

 architecture building has four floors and a mezzanine
Mezzanine may refer to:* Mezzanine , an intermediate floor between main floors of a building* Mezzanine, in technology, can refer to a thin sheet of plastic insulating different parts of circuitry from each other in cramped environments, such as laptop interiors* Mezzanine board, or daughterboard,...

. On the main facade, there are two high towers on Belgica Avenue representing the Coat of arms of Cuba
Coat of arms of Cuba
The Cuban Coat of Arms is the official heraldic symbol of Cuba. It consists of a shield, in front of a Fasces crowned by the Phrygian Cap, all supported by an oak branch on one side and a laurel wreath on the other...

 and Havana, respectively.

The main architect was the American
The people of the United States, also known as simply Americans or American people, are the inhabitants or citizens of the United States. The United States is a multi-ethnic nation, home to people of different ethnic and national backgrounds...

 Kenneth MacKenzie Murchison
Kenneth MacKenzie Murchison
Kenneth MacKenzie Murchison was a U.S. architect. He was born in New York City in 1872 and died in New York in 1938.Murchison graduated from Columbia University in 1894 and from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France, in 1900...

, who was inspired by a decorative style Spanish planteresque
Plateresque, meaning "in the manner of a silversmith" , was an artistic movement, especially architectural, traditionally held to be exclusive to Spain and its territories, which appeared between the late Gothic and early Renaissance in the late 15th century, and spread over the next two centuries...

, which are clearly visible in the elements of the shields and shells of the facade. The station's platforms are nearly one kilometer long and a total area of ​​14,000 square meters.


By 1910, the 71 year-old Villanueva Railway Station (currently the Capitolio
El Capitolio
El Capitolio, or National Capitol Building in Havana, Cuba, was the seat of government in Cuba until after the Cuban Revolution in 1959, and is now home to the Cuban Academy of Sciences. Its design and name recall the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., but it is only superficially similar...

 grounds), the first of Havana, had exceeded its capacity due to increasing urban development and population of the city. On July 20, 1910, the Congress of Cuba authorized to build the new railway station on the Arsenal public grounds instead of the Villanueva Station private grounds. The value of the old arsenal grounds and buildings was about US$3.7 million at the time, while the Villanueva grounds were about $2.3 million. This transaction caused heated debates within the political community and in general throughout the population of the city, because the value of Arsenal land was more than a million dollars to Villanueva, so it was unknown where that amount would go. This resulted in heated debates in the Congress. The Chamber representative Silverio Sánchez Figueras, commander of the liberation army, denounced the trade as a "dirty business", and the action was contradicted by congressman Colonel Severo Moleón Guerra. The confrontation culminated in a duel to death on December 9, 1910, where Congressman Moleón died. Two years later, on November 30, 1912, the new Central Railway Station was opened on the former arsenal grounds.


Central Railway Station has a network of suburban, interurban and long-distance rail lines. The railways are nationalised and run by the UFC (Union de Ferrocarriles de Cuba
Ferrocarriles de Cuba
Ferrocarriles de Cuba or Ferrocarriles Nacionales de Cuba , the only railway operating in the Caribbean islands, provides passenger and freight services for Cuba.-Route Network:...

 – Union for Railways of Cuba). Rail service connects the Central Rail Station to various Cuban provinces
Provinces of Cuba
Administratively, Cuba is divided into 15 provinces and one special municipality not included in any province. The last modification was approved in August 2010 , splitting Havana province into two new provinces: Artemisa and Mayabeque...

. In 2009, the annual passenger volume was roughly 7.5 million, almost 400,000 less from the previous year, and 3.5 million less than 2004, mainly after the government upgraded ASTRO's long-distance inter-city buses fleet with brand new air conditioned Yutong buses. Santiago de Cuba
Santiago de Cuba
Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city of Cuba and capital city of Santiago de Cuba Province in the south-eastern area of the island, some south-east of the Cuban capital of Havana....

 is the busiest route from the Central Station, some 836 kilometres (519.5 mi) apart by rail. In 2000 the Union de Ferrocarriles de Cuba bought French first class airconditioned coaches.

Fast trains line 1 and 2, between (Central Station) and Santiago de Cuba, use comfortable stainless-steel air-conditioned coaches bought from French Railways and now known as the "tren francés" (the French train). It runs daily at peak periods of the year (Summer season, Christmas & Easter), and on every second day at other times of the year. These coaches were originally used on the premier Trans Europ Express
Trans Europ Express
The Trans Europ Express, or Trans-Europe Express, is a former international railway service in Europe. At its maximum extent, in 1974, the network comprised 45 trains, connecting 130 different cities.-Origin:...

 service between Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam before being replaced with high speed Thalys
Thalys is an international high-speed train operator originally built around the high-speed line between Paris and Brussels. This track is shared with Eurostar trains that go from Paris or Brussels to London via Lille and the Channel Tunnel and with French domestic TGV trains. Thalys reaches...

 trains. They were shipped to the Cuban Railways System in 2001. It offers two classes of seating, basic leatherette "especial" and quite luxurious "primera especial".
Annual passengers transported 2004-09
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
11.0 million 11.0 million 10.5 million 10.3 million 7.9 million 7.5 million

Long-distance intercity rail lines
Train Route # Destination Notes
1 Santiago de Cuba
Santiago de Cuba
Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city of Cuba and capital city of Santiago de Cuba Province in the south-eastern area of the island, some south-east of the Cuban capital of Havana....

  • The express flagship "tren francés" ("French train").
  • Stops in Santa Clara
    Santa Clara, Cuba
    Santa Clara is the capital city of the Cuban province of Villa Clara. It is located in the most central region of the province and almost in the most central region of the country.- History :Santa Clara was founded by 175 people on July 15th, 1689...

     and Camagüey
    Camagüey is a city and municipality in central Cuba and is the nation's third largest city. It is the capital of the Camagüey Province.After almost continuous attacks from pirates the original city was moved inland in 1528.The new city was built with a confusing lay-out of winding alleys that made...

  • Offers "first class" service with air-conditioning, and cafeteria car.
3 Ciego de Ávila
Ciego de Ávila
Ciego de Ávila is a city in the central part of Cuba and the capital of Ciego de Ávila Province. The city has a population of about 86,100.Ciego de Ávila lies on the Carretera Central highway and on a major railroad. Its port, Júcaro, lies south-southwest on the coast of the Gulf of Ana Maria in...

Final destination is Morón Municipality
Morón, Cuba
Morón is one of ten municipalities in province Ciego de Ávila in central Cuba. It is the second in importance and the oldest. Morón is the closest city to the tourist resorts on Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo.- Geography :...

11 Santiago de Cuba
  • Stops in all major cities.
  • Services offered: buffet, air-conditioning, reclining seats,
    restrooms, and hostesses.
  • 11/30 Guantánamo
    Guantánamo is a municipality and city in southeast Cuba and capital of Guantánamo Province.Guantánamo is served by the Caimanera port and the site of a famous U.S. Naval base. The area produces sugarcane and cotton wool...

    via Santiago de Cuba
    13 Bayamo
    13/32 Manzanillo
    Manzanillo, Cuba
    Manzanillo is a municipality and city in the Granma Province of Cuba.It is a port city in the Granma Province in eastern Cuba on the Gulf of Guacanayabo, near the delta of the Cauto River...

    via Bayamo
    15 Holguín
    Holguín is a municipality and city, the capital of the Cuban Province of Holguín. It also includes a tourist area, offering beach resorts in the outskirts of the region.-History:...

  • Stops in all major cities. Not air-conditioned.
  • Services offered: restrooms, reclining seats, and hostesses.
  • 17 Sancti Spiritus
    Sancti Spíritus
    Sancti Spíritus is a municipality and capital city of the province of Sancti Spíritus in central Cuba. Sancti Spíritus, Latin for "Holy Spirit," is one of the best preserved cities in the Caribbean from the time of the sugar trade.-History:...

    19 Cienfuegos
    Cienfuegos is a city on the southern coast of Cuba, capital of Cienfuegos Province. It is located about from Havana, and has a population of 150,000. The city is dubbed La Perla del Sur...

    Evening departure
    21 Cienfuegos Morning departure
    23 Pinar del Río
    Pinar del Río
    Pinar del Río is a city in Cuba. It is the capital of Pinar del Río Province.Inhabitants of the area are called Pinareños.Neighborhoods in the city include La Conchita, La Coloma, Briones Montoto and Las Ovas.-History:...

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