This is part 1 of a 3 part TV interview about the history of Trinidad's railways.
Part 1 looks at:
- My memories of the railway
- Aspects of early railways in Trinidad
- Cipero Tramway
- Sugar railways and Government railway
- Why the railways died
I have always felt that something should be done to record and preserve some part of the, once prolific but now defunct, rail network of Trinidad.
Trinidadians have lived with railways for over 150 years and fading evidence of this existence can still be seen today in many areas across the island. It is extraordinary that young people are largely unaware that trains once ran to almost every region of this country; the railways are, for example, responsible for the names of many places and roads, the locations of towns and villages, and some very recognizable landmarks.
In the summer of 2009 I was kindly offered the opportunity to give a lecture to the Citizens for Conservation (CFC) and the public on the subject of railways in Trinidad. The level of public interest was truly astonishing. My original intention had been to appeal to the national conscience to support the idea of preserving this part of our social and industrial heritage. I was very encouraged by the reception and feedback.
During this visit to Trinidad, I was also invited to appear on national television for a thirty minute interview. The TV interview was arranged by the Citizens for Conservation (CFC) of Trinidad and Tobago and is the subject of this presentation.
Full credit must go to WinTV in Chaguanas, central Trinidad, for making the original programme which featured some of my 1990 video footage. The interview was recorded on July 7th 2009. The television broadcast was made on the evening of July 25th 2009 in Trinidad and Tobago by WinTV's news extra programme.
In this new presentation, I have taken the programme a stage further by re-editing, adding photos and images, so as to better illustrate the topics discussed. Most of these new images did not appear on the original broadcast and are taken mostly from my private collection unless otherwise indicated.
Finally, I would like to personally thank the Trinidad and Tobago authorities responsible for saving the two surviving TGR locomotives. This is a great service to our nation. Credit must also be extended to the management at Caroni Limited (1975) for the their role in preserving locomotives from the sugar industry. Today there are no less than seven extant Caroni locomotives in Trinidad and we must try to save them all for future generations to enjoy.
I would like to recognise and thank the following people for their help, support and encouragement over the last two years. Without their contributions this feature would not have been possible:
Geoffrey MacLean, Roger Darsley, David Monckton, Jalaludin Khan, Victor Young On, Hans Boos, Allen Morrison, Stephen Dalla Costa, Clarion Charles, David Moore, George Deeby Thompson, Jackie Driscoll and Mr. Ramdeen from WinTV.
Special thanks to Nellon Hunte and the team at WinTV in 2009 when this recording was first made.
I hope that you enjoy this presentation.
Glen Beadon 2011.