Trinidad and Tobago commemorates 126th Anniversary of Arima to Sangre Grande Railway

Trinidad and Tobago celebrated the month of August as the 126th Anniversary of the Arima to Sangre Grande Extension Railway.

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: The twin-island country of Trinidad and Tobago celebrated the month of August as the 126th Anniversary of the Arima to Sangre Grande Extension Railway.

Angelo Bissessarsingh’s Virtual Museum of Trinidad and Tobago shared a post by a Facebook user named Glen Beadon. The post showed a photo which depicted the remains of the Trinidad Government Railway bridge over the Guanapo River in 2012 on what used to be the Arima to Sangre Grande Railway.

According to the update, construction of the line began on 26 March 1896.

The first section of the new railway line opened to Guanapo, a distance of 3 1/4 miles from Arima, on Saturday 1st October 1896.

As per the shared post, following two years of construction, the Arima to Sangre Grande railway was fully opened for traffic on August 25 1897, when the first train, hauled by Engine No.13, arrived at Cunapo. It appears that Cunapo had become Sangre Grande, although the latter was a short distance beyond.

There were forty-four bridges and culverts on the railway, and the bridge over the Guanapo, featured in the photograph, was the largest with three spans: 100ft, 80ft and 50ft, running west to east, respectively.

This bridge still stands today and carries the appropriately named “Train Line Road” along the track bed of the old railway.

The Sangre Grande railway line slipped into history after only 56 years of existence on 1 April 1953.

It further that today, fragments of the route are still very much in evidence, but it is hard to imagine the excitement and jubilation expressed on 25 August 1897, upon the arrival of that first train one hundred and twenty-six years ago.

George Henry

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