Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Tren en Santa Engracia, Tamaulipas


     Two quick points here.  This is the scheduled freight train that comes down the Monterrey - Tampico rail line, north-bound every day around 10:00 am.  This train has at the front of its consist about twelve cars that are made-over box-cars, obviously and that are used for families who have a worker that is an internal, necessary person in a technical field.   For instance, the operator of an Emory laser rail leveller would have a car like that, because he is going to be reworking a couple of 50 kilometre mountain stretches for the next 45 days, perhaps.  His family will go with him, and there will be a couple or three cars with teachers where class will be held for the tezquintles (pups).
     This "mobile home" provision for certain workers has always been a tradition in Mexican railroading.  Also note, that the Mexican companies own 51% and are partnered with American companies now, who hold 49% of the shares of stock.  The Mexicans hold the title and handle the legalities, and the Americans run, with Mexican approval, the day-to-day operation of the trains and cargo.   The American companies have first call on profit division to a certain level, and after that the Mexican share of any net gradually increases as the amount goes higher.   Each of these "rail marriages" between various Mexican and American entities obviously have different "dowries".

    Finally, also notice that there are no people riding the train on top of the rail cars, like you see in the news.   That is almost a 1,000 miles away, and pertains to a stretch of about 40 miles over an old, seldom-used trackage.   On this train, one might see one or two flagmen sitting in a car or something like that, but hundreds of people riding on top.....never.   This train pulls through the Estacion Santa Engracia at about 50 mph and then, when the mile long convoy clears the community, it will take off about 80 mph.  No one can ride a box-car very long at that level of velocity, although the ride is relatively smooth, very little car "wobble".   The Mexicans have always been noted for having a good railway.