A Mexican Railway System - 1930's - 1940's
National Railways of Mexico

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The National Railways of Mexico (NdeM) was a major railroad system in Mexico. N de M operated most railway trackage through the central and northeastern regions of the republic. The Mexican Central built a main line from the border south of El Paso to Mexico City, and the National Railway of Mexico built from the northeast at Nuevo Laredo southwest to Mexico City, both lines completing in the 1880's. The NdeM absorbed the Central in 1909. In 1937 the Mexican Government nationalized the railways in Mexico. The NdeM, during its lifetime, hosted Pullman sleeping car and dining car services, most especially and enduring between St. Louis and Mexico City, and also for a time between Los Angeles and Mexico City. The northeast corridor through Laredo also produced a major portion of the freight traffic between the U.S. and Mexico. Privatization came about in 1996, and the Kansas City Southern was quick to gain control of the NdeM northeast segment from Laredo to Mexico City and several port cities. The KCS purchased these lines in 2006 and set up the Kansas City Southern de Mexico, S.A. de C.V.
Brief History of the National Railways of Mexico

The Ferrocarril Central Mexicano, (Mexican Central) (FCN)
1880 - The Ferrocarril Central Mexicano, (Mexican Central) (FCN) was incorporated.
1882 - On August 2, the first train crossed the Border, at El Paso, from the United States into Mexico on the FCM.
1882 - In September, 1882, the FCM was completed to Chihuahua.
1882 - FCM section from Mexico City to León, Guanajuato, opened.
The Ferrocarriles Nacionales de Mexico (FNM)
1878 - Ferrocarriles Nacionales de Mexico (FNM - National Railways of Mexico - NdeM) was established.
1880 - Work was begun in September on the FNM/ but proceeded more slowly than the FCM due to more difficult financial arrangements.
National Railways of Mexico
February, 1938
1882 - Monterey was reached, by the FNM in September, 1882. and the road opened to traffic from Laredo and Corpus Christi, Texas, the latter being the Gulf port and terminus of the Texas Mexican Railway,
1883 - On January1, 1883, the completion of 550 miles of the FNM was accomplished.
1883 - From Mexico City northward, the FNM was open on January 1, 1883, to Acambaro, distant 172 miles; track-laying was being rapidly pushed on the Pacific coast, and the completed line out from the capital, the EI Salto branch, long since finished, in successful operation.
1883 - In September the FNM reached Saltillo, capital of the State of Coahuila.
188 4 - The year 1884 opens with 875 miles of finished track on its FNM main line and various branches.
1903 - The first trains to Nuevo Laredo from Mexico City began operating in 1903 on the FNM.
1909 - FNM absorbed the FCM thus acquiring a second border gateway at Ciudad Juárez (adjacent to El Paso, Texas).
The Nationalized Mexican Railroads.
1937-38 - The FNM (NdeM) was nationalized by President Lázaro Cárdenas del Río. NdeM operated most railway trackage through the central (FCM) and northeastern (FNM) regions of the republic.
1930's-1950's - During the days of steam locomotives, NdeM was best known for operating Niagara class locomotives, which took their name from the New York Central Railroad locomotives of the same wheel configuration. N de M was one of the few railroads outside the US to purchase new diesel locomotives from Baldwin Locomotive Works, including the Baldwin DR-6 and Centipede.
1931 - NdeM is operating two through sleeping car and dining car services between St. Louis and Mexico City, via International Great Northern and Missouri Pacific.
1938 - The NdeM is operating extensive passenger rail services throughout the republic including a through sleeping car dining services between Mexico City and St. Louis, via Laredo and the MP, and two routes between Mexico City and Los Angeles, via El Paso and the SP.
1960 - Through sleeping car services to the U.S. had been discontinued by 1960. Mexico City to Laredo runs were diesel power cars.
1967 - St. Louis-Mexico City sleeping car service was reinstated with the Texas Eagle (MP) from St. Louis to San Antonio, Texas, and the Aztec Eagle (MP/NdeM) San Antonio-Mexico City.
1996 - Kansas City Southern de Mexico (KCSM) formed when Kansas City Southern Industries and Transportacion Maritima Mexicana (TMM) purchased a government concession to operate on a rail system in Mexico. This would be the old FNM northeast lines.
1997 - The Mexican Government privatized the first of four railway regions of the republic. The Northeast Railway (old FNM) is now operated as Transportacion Ferroviaria Mexicana (TFM), a key component of Kansas City Southern's NAFTA Railway. TFM provides the primary rail route in Northern Mexico linking Mexico City with Laredo, Texas, where over 50 percent of U.S.-Mexico trade crosses the border. The line also connects major Mexico population centers in Monterrey and Guadalajara and the ports of Lazaro Cardenas, Veracruz and Tampico. Its 2,661-mile line accounts for 19 percent of rail in Mexico yet carries 40 percent of the country's total rail cargo.
2006 - Kansas City Southern Industries purchased Transportacion Maritima Mexicana's share and renamed the Mexican lines Kansas City Southern de Mexico, S.A. de C.V.

National Railways of Mexico - 1938

Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- April 1940

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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright © Richard Parks, April 29, 2009, revised Sept. 7, 2011