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Clickity Clack Down the Track: The Atlantic Railroad in the Old Days

El Pachuco today

El Pachuco today

By Jack Ewing

They called it the “carro salón” or luxury car, though it was far from luxurious. I have also heard it called the “chair car” in English. Compared to the regular passenger cars, the carro salón had comfortable seats with plenty of leg room, a relatively nice restroom and a balcony on the back end. It had the distinction of being the last car on the train, right behind the caboose, so from the balcony there was a view on three sides. Beer and soft drinks were sold inside, and a short, fat lady with a checkered apron came through selling tortillas and empanadas. The wealthier people always rode on the carro salón, and everybody else went in the regular cars. All the trains had names. “El Pachuco” was the only train that had a carro salón. It traveled between Limón and San Jose daily, as did another train known as “El Pasajero.” “El Río Frio” traveled between Turrialba and Río Frio, but Guápiles was the most important station on the far end of that line.

Hacienda Baru

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