2-8-2 number 205, built by Baldwin (74135/1948) heads a photo charter special returning to Guatemala City from El Rancho - 12/12/1988. Photo Richard Chandler

The Ferrocarriles de Guatemala (FEGUA) was the government body that ran the 3ft. gauge railways of Guatemala between 1968 & 1996 after failure of its previous operators - The Interrnational Railways of Central America. The latter was until 1954 a subsidiary of the United Fruit Company which had been operating the system since 1912. The first line from the Pacific port of San Jose & Guatemala City had been opened between 1880 & 1884 with the line east from latter to Puerto Barrios on the Caribbean being opened in 1908. By the time United Fruit relinquished control the network had extended to 885km with connections to Mexico in the north & El Salvador in the south. Lack of investment and decline of the infrastructure forced closure of the system in 1996. Then US funded Ferrovías Guatemala were granted a 50 year concession to restore & operate the system in 1997 and re-opened the line to Puerto Barrios in 1999; but a dispute with the government forced suspension of operations again in 2007.

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