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Belize

Stann Creek Railroad
A scene on the Stann Creek Railroad.
The location is a quarry at Macaroni Hill, which provided stone for construction and maintenance of the railway.

The first railway in what was then British Honduras was an 8km mule hauled tramway between Stann Creek Town (present day Dangriga) and Melinda, opened in 1892 by the British Honduras Syndicate of banana growers. The line was later extended to Middlesex.

This railway was superseded by a 3ft (914mm) gauge public railway, the Stann Creek Railroad, the first 15km section of which opened in 1908 between Commerce Bight and Hope Creek. The line was extended in stages until by 1911 it reached Middlesex, some 40km from Commerce Bight.

The British Honduras banana industry was devastated by an outbreak of disease in the 1920s and with it the major traffic source for the Stann Creek Railroad disappeared. The line continued in operation carrying some timber traffic, but by 1937 this too had ceased and the line closed. Traces of the line can still be seen alongside the Hummingbird Highway.

Several other lines were constructed in the colony in the early part of the 20th century, mainly in connection with the logging industry. The industry languished during and after the Second World War and all the lines had closed by the late 1950s.

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