The old train station in Limon looks vacant. A few trains come in said one of the locals but it looks like it has seen better days. The train to Limon was just as important as the Panama canal? So why has the train fell off the tracks? Whatever the reason the result is more traffic and more traffic jams on the road from San Jose to Limon.
(The track offers a splendid introduction to the magnificent jungle-clad mountain landscape of Costa Rica. The line, with its 100 miles of embankments and dizzying trestles, took 20 years to complete. Malaria, dysentery and heat exhaustion are said to have buried 4,000 men who worked on it, Chinese, Italians and Hondurans – more even than the cutting of the Panama Canal – and only the laborers brought over from Jamaica proved strong enough to survive the punishing work. But when the track was opened, it shortened the trip to Europe, which had until then included a trip round Cape Horn, by three months.)
Sorry, you can’t ride the train to Limon anymore. The extensive miles of iron tracks, on which the train potently ran at one time, fell into disrepair years ago. The Costa Rican government shut down the train in December of 1990 after one hundred years of service. The inclemency of our tropical rains, irregular topography and constant mudslides have prevented the famed jungle train from returning.
Here is a quote,
“Due to extensive earth slides the line between Cartago and Turrialba was destroyed in 1988 which divided the railway network into two parts. A powerful earth quake damaged in 1991 the lines along the atlantic coast which, however, were reinstated within two weeks. The Atlantic banana transport line had become unprofitable already earlier, because of the exhaustion of the banana fields and the high current costs. Bananas are transported in the evening when tariffs are at their highest, and the power stations would not reduce the tariffs. Further reasons were the high personal costs due to overstaffing, and so the banana transports were transferred to trucks. As a consequence operation ceased in 1995. The atlantic overhead line was in competition with private copper thiefs dismantled. In 1997 and 1998 the country’s government made several efforts to privatise the railway. But the potential operators made too high demands on the state or wanted only to take over parts of the lines. As the overcharging of the roads increased constantly, it dawned on the government that without the railway nothing more was possible, which made the government to reactivate INCOFER. INCOFER took over operations and repaired the lines. Today both on the Pacific line and the banana transport line diesel locomotives are used. The only passenger train, an excursion train, is the Tico train of America Travel which underway stops at Rio Grande de Atenas where the railway museum is situated, and which then continues to Caldera.”
It went on to say:
“A branch line of 4,6 Kilometres from Salinas connects the former railway with the new harbour which in the seventies replaced the harbour at Puntarenas, which was no longer deep enough, and the entry of which is too narrow for container ships. The Tico train operates, however, only on 2,3 Kilometres on the harbour branch line as far as the beach at Caldera. The train consists of a GE diesel electric locomotive U11 B of 1979 (two of ten imported locomotives), with Caterpillar motors type 388 and 398 of 1100 HP at 6000 Volts, which can reach a maximum speed of 80 Kilometres per hour, weigh 64 tons, and are 38 feet long, 12 feet high and 9 feet large.”
And finally said,
“Furthermore there are passenger coaches from 1941, from Germany (blue cars) with 46 seats, metal coloured cars from 1960, from Japan, and caboose cars. A timetable can be found at the Fahrplancenter. INCOFER has a very modest home page. There one can find some hopeful information, that the railway can be resurrected in three steps. First the banana transport lines at the Valle de la Estrella, later the other Atlantic lines and finally the Pacific line shall be put out to concession. Furthermore the substation at Tacares shall receive more power within the available possibilities.”
E.G. LDC, Intergovernmental,populations, Black Africa,
Inappropriate and uncontrolled land uses are a major cause of degradation and depletion of land
resources. Present land use often disregards the actual potentials, carrying capacities and limitations
of land resources, as well as their diversity in space. It is estimated that the world’s population, now
at 5.4 billion, will be 6.25 billion by the turn of the century. The need to increase food production to
meet the expanding needs of the population will put enormous pressure on all natural resources,
Land degradation is the most important environmental problem affecting extensive areas of land in
both developed and developing countries. The problem of soil erosion is particularly acute in
developing countries, while problems of salinization, waterlogging, soil pollution and loss of soil
fertility are increasing in all countries. Land degradation is serious because the productivity of huge
areas of land is declining just when populations are increasing rapidly and the demand on the land is
growing to produce more food, fibre and fuel. Efforts to control land degradation, particularly in
developing countries, have had limited success to date. Well planned, long-term national and regional
land conservation and rehabilitation programmes, with strong political support and adequate funding,
are now needed. While land-use planning and land zoning, combined with better land management,
should provide long-term solutions, it is urgent to arrest land degradation and launch conservation
and rehabilitation programmes in the most critically affected and vulnerable areas.
Early in the next century, more than half of the world’s population will be living in urban areas. By
the year 2025, that proportion will have risen to 60 per cent, comprising some 5 billion people. Rapid
urban population growth and industrialization are putting severe strains on the water resources and
environmental protection capabilities of many cities. Special attention needs to be given to the
growing effects of urbanization on water demands and usage and to the critical role played by local
and municipal authorities in managing the supply, use and overall treatment of water, particularly in
developing countries for which special support is needed. Scarcity of freshwater resources and the
escalating costs of developing new resources have a considerable impact on national industrial,
agricultural and human settlement development and economic growth. Better management of urban
water resources, including the elimination of unsustainable consumption patterns, can make a
substantial contribution to the alleviation of poverty and improvement of the health and quality of life
of the urban and rural poor. A high proportion of large urban agglomerations are located around
estuaries and in coastal zones. Such an arrangement leads to pollution from municipal and industrial
discharges combined with overexploitation of available water resources and threatens the marine
environment and the supply of freshwater resources.
Encouragement of the local population, especially women, youth, indigenous
people and local communities, in water management;
Why can’t Costa Rica rebuild the Jungle Train’s tracks? Agenda 21 and the trucking companies lobbies probably.
Conduct inventory of natural resources (soil, water and vegetation) and their state of
degradation, based primarily on the knowledge of the local population (e.g., rapid rural
The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) articulated a bold new vision about the relationships between population, development and individual well-being. At the ICPD, 179 countries adopted a forward-looking, 20-year Programme of Action (PoA) that built on the success of the population, maternal health and family planning programmes of the previous decades while addressing, with a new perspective, the need of the early years of the twenty-first century.
By the year 2025, 83 per cent of the expected global population of 8.5 billion will be living in
developing countries. Yet the capacity of available resources and technologies to satisfy the demands
of this growing population for food and other agricultural commodities remains uncertain.
Agriculture has to meet this challenge, mainly by increasing production on land already in use and by
avoiding further encroachment on land that is only marginally suitable for cultivation.
Create rural banking systems to facilitate access to credit for rural populations,
particularly women and indigenous groups, and to promote rural savings;
“A number of goals have been formulated through extensive consultations in various international
forums attended by virtually all Governments, relevant United Nations organizations (including WHO,
UNICEF, UNFPA, UNESCO, UNDP and the World Bank) and a number of non-governmental
“Indigenous people and their communities. Indigenous people had their communities make up a
significant percentage of global population. The outcomes of their experience have tended to be very
similar in that the basis of their relationship with traditional lands has been fundamentally changed.
They tend to feature disproportionately in unemployment, lack of housing, poverty and poor health. In
many countries the number of indigenous people is growing faster than the general population.
Therefore it is important to target health initiatives for indigenous people.”
“Access to land resources is an essential component of sustainable low-impact lifestyles. Land
resources are the basis for (human) living systems and provide soil, energy, water and the opportunity
for all human activity. In rapidly growing urban areas, access to land is rendered increasingly difficult
by the conflicting demands of industry, housing, commerce, agriculture, land tenure structures and the
need for open spaces. Furthermore, the rising costs of urban land prevent the poor from gaining access
to suitable land. In rural areas, unsustainable practices, such as the exploitation of marginal lands and
the encroachment on forests and ecologically fragile areas by commercial interests and landless rural
populations, result in environmental degradation, as well as in diminishing returns for impoverished
Full integration of population concerns into national planning, policy and decision-making
processes should continue. Population policies and programmes should be considered, with full
recognition of women’s rights.
5.18. Governments and other relevant actors could, inter alia, undertake the following activities, with
appropriate assistance from aid agencies, and report on their status of implementation to the
International Conference on Population and Development to be held in 1994, especially to its
committee on population and environment.
What is the relationship between national security council i.e. military acronyms used in Darwin’s Origin of Species, Julian Huxley’s UNESCO Philosophy, NSSM 200, and Agenda 21.?
How many times does Agenda 21 mention population?
Jason Thompson received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Law & Society from Winona State University and the International University Of Ulaanbaatar where he studied U.S.-Mongolian Foreign Relations 1860-1920. He also attended programs at Hennepin Technical College in Minnesota, Soonchunhyang University in the Republic of Korea and at the University for Peace in Costa Rica. He has a Master of Arts degree from University of Nevada, Las Vegas where he focused on how climate control was visually framed in the media using content analysis, enhanced weathering techniques that create power and control atmospheric carbon dioxide percentages and high-energy x-ray applications. Jason has wrote for Diesel Power and The Costa Rica News.
Support Niflheim Media:
About Niflheim Media:
Niflheim Media Places Your Idea, Product or Policy in the News: