Park of the Tren Blindado with some of the derailed cars
|Location||Santa Clara, Cuba|
|Type||National monument, memorial and museum|
The Tren Blindado (Spanish for armoured train) is a national monument, memorial park, and museum of the Cuban Revolution, located in the city of Santa Clara, Cuba. It was created in memory of the events of 29 December 1958, during the Battle of Santa Clara, by the Cuban sculptor José Delarra.
The memorial is located on the Avenica Liberación in the Begonchea ward, just after the depot of Santa Clara station, nearby a level crossing. It lies between the Havana-Camagüey-Santiago rail line and the Cubanicay river. It consists of an open sculpture park, an obelisk dedicated to Che Guevara, and a monument to the bulldozer used by Guevara and his soldiers to derail the train. The derailed cars are used as the rooms of the museum.
The conquest of the train followed the conquest of the whole of Santa Clara. Due to this final victory, the city is still called the "city of the heroic guerrillas". After Fidel Castro captured Santa Clara, Batista wanted to bring about a turning point in the battle and the war. In an attempt to defeat the revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro, he sent an armored train from Havana on 23 December 1958. The large train had two diesel locomotives and seventeen four-axle freight cars and personnel carriers of U.S. origin. The train carried 373 armed soldiers, ammunition, and provisions for two months. 
The next day it reached Santa Clara and stopped at the foot of the Loma del Capiro hill. Three days later, on the current site of the memorial park, eighteen guerrillas under the command of Ernesto "Che" Guevara attacked the train. When the officers wanted to move the train to a better position, Guevara derailed the train by bulldozing 30 meters of track. After several hours of fierce combat, the guerrillas succeeded in capturing the weapons and ammunition. The officers were finally forced to surrender in the evening. Interestingly, many of the rebels befriended and fraternized with the soldiers they were fighting only hours before.
The events surrounding the Tren Blindado have been depicted in at least two major-studio films:
- Cuba, a 1979 US drama film directed by Richard Lester and starring Sean Connery.
- Che (Part 1: The Argentine), a 2008 US/French/Spanish drama film directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Benicio del Toro.
Media related to Tren Blindado at Wikimedia Commons