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Railroad pictures in Piedras Negras, Mexico

For part of our training to become members of Wycliffe Bible Translators, we had to spend some time in Mexico. This was part of our cross cultural training and also part of the evaluation process in seeing how well we could learn another language. In November 1990 we made a trip to Piedras Negras across the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass, Texas.

FNM GP38-2 9252 switching cars at Piedras Negras

Piedras Negras means "black stones" in Spanish. The Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway began building south from Spofford in 1882 crossed the Rio Grande at Eagle Pass and continued building south from Piedras Negras to reach coal deposits about 30 miles further south near Nava. Today these same mines produce coal for two huge mega-watt thermoelectric plants: CFE's Jose Portillo and Carbon II. This rail line operating as the Mexican International Railroad connected with the Mexican Central Railway at Torreon in 1888. Mexico's railroads deteriorated during the Mexican Revolution and were nationalized during the 1930s. This line became part of Ferrocarriles Nacionales de Mexico (FNM). I think it became part of Ferrocarril Coahuila Durango in 1998.

We later spent six weeks in Allende about 45 miles southwest of Eagle Pass. It is a railroad junction point for a branch line up to Cuidad Acuna (across the Rio Grande from Del Rio). Although it was a railroad junction there was not a lot of activity there. The home we were staying in was about 20 blocks to the north and since I had to walk everywhere, I rarely had time to check things out. I also did not bring my camera on this portion of our trip since we had to carry everything we needed for eight weeks in Mexico. During our time in Allende, I worked out the ideal loading algorithm for double stack cars. Our time in Mexico was cut short when Ruth's grandmother became very ill and we had to go to Waxhaw, NC. I think the Lord worked everything out as I don't think I could have passed the final language exam.

NdeM SD40-2 8746
Brake Cylinders
Roundhouse
FNM GP38-2 9245
GP38-2 9252

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