The first railways in Guadeloupe were built in the 1860s to serve the developing sugarcane industry. By the mid-20th century a large number of independent lines of various gauges totalling over 160km in length existed on the islands of Grande-Terre, Basse-Terre, and Marie-Galante. By the 1960s the sugar cane industry was in decline, and the last of the railways (at Beauport on Grande-Terre) ceased industrial operation in 1989, but was later reopened in part as a tourist service. The railway is now operated using purpose built carriages hauled by diesel powered works vehicles. A steam locomotive remains on static display.
Relics of other railways in the islands are few and far between. A steel viaduct across Ravine Corneille near Le Moule once carried a railway from the sugar factory at Gardel to the port.
Around 2013, a project was announced for a new tram system serving Cap Excellence, but by 2018 the project had been abandoned for lack of funding.
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