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Cuba’s rail network runs the length of the island linking the main cities and villages. 

To travel by train in Cuba can be a special experience, especially if you dedide to do it with the “regular” train lines. There are different types of trains, with differences in quality and price, but don’t expect trains with a service and comfort like in rich western countries. 

The local population can buy tickets at subsidized  prices in CUP, but foreigners have to buy tickets in CUC, at much higher rates. In order to buy tickets, always bring your passport and money in cash.

Be aware of delays and lack of information, especially when you are travelling with short distance trains and the cheapest interprovincial trains. The “regular” train lines are known for their lack of comfort and service, and ticket should be bought several days in advanced if you are going to travel long distances.

There is a fast train service that runs between Havana and Santiago de Cuba, known as “Tren Frances” which has comfortable air-conditioned coaches imported from France. The seats are comfortable, the air-conditioning is powerful, you can drink coffee and there is hostess service in each coach.

The train has two classes:

Primera (first class) – Has the standard of the old European second class with vinyl padded seats, 2 abreast on each side of the aisle.

Primera especial (special first class) - Has the standards of the old European first class, with much more space and fabric seats, 2-abreast on one side of the aisle and one-abreast on the other side.

This train has two departures a week and a ticket costs 60 CUC (includes a snack and/or a cold drink).

Train lines in Cuba 

Train fares for foreigners (One way)
Havana – Pinar del Rio  7 CUC  in “ primera”
Havana- Sancti Spiritus 14 CUC in “ primera “, train 17 or 18
Havana – Moron 24 CUC in “primera” clase
Havana – Santiago de Cuba 62 CUC in “primera clase “ train 1 or 2 (Tren Frances)
Havana – Santiago de Cuba 50 CUC  in “ especial “train  1 or 2  ( Tren Frances)
Havana – Santiago de Cuba 30 CUC  in “primera” class, train 11 or 12
Havana –Bayamo/ Manzanillo 26 CUC in “primera “  train 13 or 14
Havana – Guantanamo 32 CUC in “primera “ on train 11 or 12 

 “Primera”= first class

Havana (Casablanca station) – Hershey- Matanzas city

Crossing the Havana’s bay with a small public transportation boat, you will find a neighbourhood called Casablanca. From there runs an old electric train known as “Hershey train”, that connects Havana with a small village called Hershey (between Havana and Matanzas City.  In Matanzas, the Station for the “Hershey train” is approximately 2 km from the main train station in Matanzas city.

The train was modernized with new coaches bought few years ago, but it doesn’t have air conditioning or any other comfort. 

The trip is a nice opportunity to have a non typical tourist experience in Cuba.

When you are going to travel with “Hershey train”, be patient and be prepared for delays and cancellations.

Prices 

Havana - Hershey 1.50 CUC 

Havana – Matanzas City 2.80 CUC

Where to buy the tickets

In Havana city foreign visitors can buy the tickets at the booking office located at the train station called “La Coubre”, approximately 250 meters from the Central Train Station.  We recommend buying your tickets at least one day before you want to travel.

Tickets regulations 

  • Foreigner visitors are not allowed to buy tickets in CUP, or travel with them. 
  • Foreigner visitors must always buy tickets in CUC (Pesos Convertibles).
  • Children from 0 to 4 years old can travel free.
  • Children from 5 to 11 years old pay only half price.
  • Children over 12 years old must pay full price.

But for sure to travel by train in Cuba is a very interesting experience!

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