Trains and transit in Costa Rica

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In '69-'71 I gave up explaining to most Germans where Portland, Oregon was. I learned that "near San Francisco" or "near Vancouver, BC" worked best. I also found it useful to explain that Oregon was the size of West Germany and that the population of Oregon then was about the same as that of Berlin.

It hit me in my first trip to Paris from Berlin. People asked me how I liked Belgium en route and I didn't know because the whole country was dark.
 
Concerning the size of the US I remember when my cousin and his wife came to visit us when we lived near Philadelphia and they thought they would take a day trip to go visit a friend who lived near Albany and I had to explain that Philly to Albany was an all day trip by train and they began to realize just how big the US was
 
Concerning the size of the US I remember when my cousin and his wife came to visit us when we lived near Philadelphia and they thought they would take a day trip to go visit a friend who lived near Albany and I had to explain that Philly to Albany was an all day trip by train and they began to realize just how big the US was
In '69-'71 I gave up explaining to most Germans where Portland, Oregon was. I learned that "near San Francisco" or "near Vancouver, BC" worked best. I also found it useful to explain that Oregon was the size of West Germany and that the population of Oregon then was about the same as that of Berlin.

It hit me in my first trip to Paris from Berlin. People asked me how I liked Belgium en route and I didn't know because the whole country was dark.

This actually might deserve a thread of its own "What countries are the closest transit peers to the United States?"
 


Since this was the entire point of my trip to Limon, I better post this video---it is pretty long, though!
This video talks about, and shows, a lot of things. Limon has a complicated history, and much of it is rail related. While some of this video just shows the natural beauty of the city, with lots of blue sky and waves, I also talk about the history of Limon. Limon was developed as an export port, where agricultural commodities (mostly bananas) were shipped to the US. This necessitated a rail line. Building the rail line involved bringing in contract workers --- Jamaican, Chinese, and Italian --- to an area with difficult living conditions. After the rail was completed, some of workers stayed. The workers of African descent were legally segregated and couldn't leave the province until the laws were changed in 1949.
So Limon still has that double nature: some of the infrastructure actually looks newer and better than in the rest of Costa Rica, but because the area was discriminated against and had a less-developed commodity based economy, it is also poorer in some ways.
And that is just the basics of it---hopefully the video shows some more! Including, also, some working trains!
 
Something that helps follow this is the Open Railway Map. It shows the two lines diverging from the Limon terminal. The line following the coast is fairly straight, then it turns abruptly into Rio Estrella country, where one curve links with the next. On that outer end, there are little branches to loading points. And, a bonus, a blow-up shows the Tram Line west of there, linking the Veragua Eco center with the Rio Victoria.

https://www.openrailwaymap.org/
 


I have actually taken a few trips that involve taking the trains here---but no reason to share those videos, since they are mostly things I covered already.
This video doesn't involve a train---but it does involve rail history, and transit.
This is a trip to Atenas (Athens), a small town (probably around 10,000 people), about 20 miles west of San Jose. There is also a rail museum there---that I didn't get to visit. Atenas is located on the rail line westward, and before the landslide, was one of the first stops on the route from San Jose to Puntarenas.
As I show in this video, the terrain makes it hard to reach---including a spot where both lanes of traffic have to share a one lane bridge. Which sounds romantic, but as the video shows, Atenas is not a quaint little mountain town---it is a pretty big and busy place, and I don't know how long it can continue with this type of infrastructure.
This trip also begins and ends at the Terminal Coca-Cola in San Jose---strangely enough, the first time I visited this terminal. (Which is actually a district full of many terminals run by separate companies). While it is not terrible (and rumors made it sound worse than it was), it is also, in the way of many bus terminal areas, not the type of place I would advise to linger around in.
 
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