Returning Passenger Service To Mexico

6135 views
7 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February, 2010
  • 8 posts
Returning Passenger Service To Mexico
Posted by ruta66 on Thursday, February 25, 2010 2:46 PM
If you're someone who's ever traveled on railroad wherever it may be in the world and know what a unique experience this can be or are just someone who likes trains or know someone like this please help me out by signing my petition to all the major railroad companies in Mexico asking them to restore passenger service to the country since ever since privatization happened in the 90's the service has been virtually eliminated. Passenger railroad service was crucial in many communities since this was the only form of transportation that connected many towns and villages to the outside world now leaving bus companies to struggle to fill this gap and in many cases it’s not filled at all. Also it would be great to once again restore that great allure which the railroad once had in Mexico and with it bring money to many needy communities in the form of tourism, commerce, and permanent jobs since unlike highway systems which create jobs for a temporary amount of time the railroad creates jobs which can last a lifetime so please if you can and want sign my petition and spread the word about it
here is the petition http://www.petitiononline.com/railmex/petition.html
Thanks For Your Time
  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • 798 posts
Posted by BNSFwatcher on Friday, February 26, 2010 3:29 PM

Having trans-border US-Mexico rail passenger service would be cool, but, as they say in New York:  "Fuggetaboutit!".  The DHS's Border and Customs outfit would make the task impossible.  Just look at how many US-Canada crossings they have put out of business.  Silly people, methinks, and now they have a whole "Department" and have been elevated above the "Bureaucrats".  Throw them more money?  They'll just spend it!  I think their goal is to have three SUVs/employee!

Hays, on the Canadian border.

  • Member since
    February, 2010
  • 8 posts
Posted by ruta66 on Friday, February 26, 2010 4:47 PM

 I actually don't think there ever really was trans-border service mainly because of the same stupid bureaucracies because from what I know all the NdeM trains would either stop at Nuevo Laredo or the international crossing bridge and from there people would have to find some sort of connecting service because Mexican passenger trains weren't allowed in the US and likewise US passenger trains weren't allowed in Mexico.

  • Member since
    August, 2008
  • 70 posts
Posted by clarkfork on Monday, March 01, 2010 3:00 PM

My September 1951 shows the schedule of Nos. 21 and 22, the Aztec Eagle, operated by Missouri Pacific between Mexico City and San Antonio, TX.  The train appears to have consisted of through cars between Mexico City and San Antonio; two sleepers (10-1-2 & 8-5) diner-lounge and coaches.  Southbound it left San Antonio at  12:05 PM, arriving Laredo, TX, at 4:20 PM, departing Neuvo Laredo, Mexico, at 6:00 PM (customs?) and arrived in Mexico City at 8:00 PM the next day. 

Northward it left Mexico City at 8:00 AM, into Neuvo Laredo at 8:00 AM the next day, departing Laredo at 9:05 AM and getting into San Antonio at 1:30 PM.  No. 21 had a 25 minute connection with the Texas Eagle from St. Louis.  No 22 had a 40 minute connection with the northbound Texas Eagle.

It is 955 miles from San Antonio to Mexico City. That works out to just 30 MPH southward.

As for the petition, if the trains have been gone since the 90s, I would think that everyone in Mexico has by now figured out alternative transportation.

  • Member since
    February, 2010
  • 8 posts
Posted by ruta66 on Monday, March 01, 2010 4:45 PM
Well I think what it is NdeM was the one that operated the service between Mexico City and Nuevo Laredo and in Laredo one could take the Missouri Pacific. But I'm almost certain that you had to find your own way from Nuevo Laredo to Laredo or vice versa as to if the railroads provided some sort of connection I'm not completely sure on that, or if the same cars where used from NdeM to Missouri Pacific.

Regarding the petition that's not necessarily the case because there were lots of small towns in both Northern and Southern Mexico where the railroad was literally the only form of modern transportation that connected them to the outside world and when passenger service was taken away it left them without any transportation now if the people in those towns want to go anywhere they have to walk for hours to reach some sort of road where they can catch a bus. It's also not just about passenger service as a transportation tool but also as an economic tool. Passenger service use to create many jobs both with people who worked for the railroad companies and those who just lived in towns along the train's route and when the train would stop they would sell food and other goods to the passengers inside. One of the passanger railroads which is still left, The Chepe is actually a perfect example of this as the train is literally the only source of income for many of the families along it's route, and returning passenger service to Mexico doesn't necessarily have to mean returning it to the whole country like in the old days but it could just be something more along the lines of opening up a few more tourist lines or offering service in those really needy areas that I mentioned or connecting major cities like Mexico City to Guadalajara or Monterrey
  • Member since
    August, 2008
  • 70 posts
Posted by clarkfork on Monday, March 01, 2010 5:07 PM

You are correct, it was NdeM from Laredo/Neuvo Laredo to Mexico City.  By the way, the source of this was the Offical Guide of the Railways.  I never rode the train, however, the way the Official Guide shows it, the cars crossed the border.

  • Member since
    December, 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 8,280 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, March 01, 2010 7:05 PM

I will not address the through cars situation here is how the station in Laredo is set up.

1. The station is located on the MP (UP) line with it located east of the MP tracks (2 or 3 parallel tracks west of the station I seem to remember) .

2. The station is about 1 mile north of the international RR bridge over the river. T

3. When I last examined the station it appeared that there was an old customs and immigration area in the station so that may have been used for through trains to the US?.

4. From the east The Texax Mexican track (now KCS) does a jug handle to the north so as to pass close by the south part of the station. Also the jug handle made a wye to go north to connect with the MP. A switch south of the station is installed to allow a short back up to stop on the east side of the station (possible customs) or to continue north to connect to the MP.track north of the station.

5. All this was at least 7 years ago so it may have changed. I know that a second track section on the TM just east of the station has beed removed and there was talk of taking the TM track and moving it several miles north as it has 20 - 30 grade crossing east of the station in about a 2 mile distance. Including going by a McDonalds and over a single track bridge with a sidewalk traveling over I-35.

  • Member since
    March, 2010
  • 2 posts
Posted by arkrail on Tuesday, March 02, 2010 1:06 AM
ruta66
Well I think what it is NdeM was the one that operated the service between Mexico City and Nuevo Laredo and in Laredo one could take the Missouri Pacific. But I'm almost certain that you had to find your own way from Nuevo Laredo to Laredo or vice versa as to if the railroads provided some sort of connection I'm not completely sure on that, or if the same cars where used from NdeM to Missouri Pacific.

NdeM indeed operated the train between Nuevo Laredo and Mexico City, with Missouri Pacific operating between San Antonio and Laredo.  Depending on the specific year being discussed, through Pullman cars, coaches and occasionally dining cars were operated from San Antonio to Mexico City without change.  In the 1950s, the through Pullman and coach operated from San Antonio as the Aztec Eagle.  Prior to the Texas Eagle's inauguration in August 1948, similar equipment originated in St. Louis and operated through as part of the Sunshine Special.

 Through St. Louis-Mexico City Pullman service was resumed in the early 1960s and continued until the Pullman Company (in USA) discontinued operations on December 31, 1968 - that date being the date of the last trans-border Pullman crossing.  At this time, NdeM Pullman cars routinely operated to St. Louis and MP Pullman cars routinely operated to Mexico City.  Through coach service had been reduced to a San Antonio-Nuevo Laredo coach by this time, and this service was discontinued with last car crossing bridge on January 15, 1969.  

The bridge itself was operated by Texas-Mexican Railway, and passenger cars were exchanged by being shoved out on bridge by MP crews, with a NdeM locomotive then coming from the Mexico side to pull the cars into Mexico to continue their journey.  Customs inspections were conducted during this transfer process.

 It was not until after January 15, 1969 that passengers were forced to make their own arrangements to get from Laredo (MP) station to Nuevo Laredo (NdeM) station via the highway bridge.

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy

Search the Community