The Coconut and Sugar Railway Systems of Corozal Town
There used to be a Railway line running from the Custom House (Now House of Culture)
through what is now called Finca Solana along the coast towards Consejo. This railway
was narrow gauge, and was used for the carriage of Spices & Coconuts. The track, it
appears, was removed in the mid 1938’s. The railway was 2ft gauge. The wagons were
either pushed by Manpower or Horse & Mule pulled.
The main gathering area was near Mr J Brown’s house, the husking area was between Mr
J Browns house and the Coast. It appears that Finca Solana Area was a major Coconut
Grove or Plantation once.
There was also a railway track running from the South side of what is now Tony’s Inn,
round past the Maya Hotel along the coast to Customs House joining with the one from
Finca Solana and Santa Rita, at or near the Customs House. From Tony’s Inn to the Maya
Hotel was also a large Coconut Plantation. The track from this section was believed to
have been removed in the late 1938’s period. (unconfirmed.)
A ship used to come in once a week to collect the Coconuts and the Fibre, which was
used for making mats and ropes. I have also been informed that various spices were also
exported from Corozal. Mail Boats called at Corozal 2 to 3 times a week to Orange walk
from Belize City and vice versa; they would collect whatever Corozal could supply.
The Sugar mill on top of Santa Rita hill before you get to the Mayan Ruin, belonged to
Montalvo Ramirez, and the track ran down Santa Rita hill (which is the road as we know
it now that goes up towards and past the Corozal Hospital from the bus station) on the left
hand side going round to the right along what is now the dual carriage way, then it turned
left Opposit what is now the Social Security Building towards the sea to the Customs
Shed, (now preserved as House of Culture) where it joined with the other two lines and
continued onto the Wharf.
The empty wagons: on this line were hauled up the hill by Mule or Small Pony and
gravity fed down the hill loaded with 200lb bags of Sugar. The track from the Sugar Mill
I am led to believe was lifted during the 1939/45 War or just after.
None of these lines were more than one & a half miles in length. I have inserted a drawing of a similar
Wagon. Some of them were actually 5ft wide & varied in length from 10ft up to 15 feet
long. They were believed to have been made by the North British Railway company.
Wagons that were used in Corozal were similar to this Wagon. 5ft Wide and from 10ft
up to 15ft Long. Track Gauge was 2ft.
Information above gathered by A.D. Baker, Information supplied by Joe Brown, Alan Baker & Raymond Hall & M Ramirez of
Julian Novelo worked in the cocnut farms at Finca Solana.
The farms belonged to Mr. Schofield.
The coconuts were railed to an area by where Mr Mai house is now, to be husked.
The coconuts were sent by sea in la Africola to Belize.
It is said it was used to make soap..