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Radio Cadena Agramonte emisiora de Camagüey

Camagüey, Cuba, urban service, transport

Railbus "El Mayor" is already on the rails (+ Photos)

Camagüey, July 10 - El Mayor, the first large capacity railbus built in the country from an urban service bus, model 0118 of the Chinese industry Yutong, exceeded the technical expectations for its introduction into circulation, incorporated to the railway network of the extensive municipalities of Vertientes and Santa Cruz del Sur.

With 12 meters long and doors on both sides, the railbus will have 36 seats. Its route has been arranged for more than 60 kilometers along inland lines in generally low coastal plain territories, which will benefit numerous generally isolated communities, among these Aguilar, Antón, San Carlos and Los Toros, crossing over lagoons, creeks and streams almost all tributaries of the San Pedro river basin.

The original bus, which arrived in poor condition with a batch of 18 other discontinued urban service buses in Havana, was delivered around 2020 to the Camagüey locomotive workshops for its transformation into a new model of the popular Karatas that circulated from Esmeralda to the north of the province.

Those Diana model units were smaller in size, so undertaking the work with the Yutong required serious and complex technical efforts for its readaptation, including the assembly of railroad wheels on the original differential without modifying its design.

Engineer Carlos Sanz Guerra, a lifelong railroad worker who has been retired since 2011 as a locomotive specialist, took on the task with the support of a young team of workers including metalsmiths, welders, lathe operators, air mechanics and other specialists. Together they enthusiastically took on the task four years ago, which required manufacturing parts, modifying them or adapting them to meet the parameters of the railway movement.

So that it could run on the railway," Sanz told Adelante, "we had to repair the chassis, engine, gearbox, transmission, which is still intact. It was fitted with an automatic brake and a sand trap to prevent it from skidding on the tracks. This equipment had its length as a disadvantage, it is longer than the conventional karatas, the atypical chassis, very low, which complicated its construction, which was achieved thanks to these young workers of our locomotive workshop, where, by the way, we went out of the usual because a work like this is new and there was no experience. The result has been successful and there is nothing to indicate that we cannot multiply this equipment as an alternative for transportation, especially in rural areas". (Text and photos: online newspaper Adelante)

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