A southbound KCSM train passing above the town of La Cañada.
A long southbound TFM train lead by a single Super 7 is passing through two of the short tunnels in Querétaro Canyon. A near by detector read off 518 axles, at 9 KPH.
The San Juan del Rio Valley
Upon exiting Queretaro Canyon, the tracks enter the fertile and flat Valle de San Juan del Rio. Line A and Linea B connect at La Griega in order to allow Ferromex trains onto their own rails for the mountainous climb to Mexico City. South of La Griega, the two lines quickly spread to opposite sides of the valley as they approach the mountains through separate passes.
A southbound Ferromex train (above) hits the diamond at Viborillas. Below, a short TFM intermodal train passes over the diamond. This southbound train will soon connect to Linea A at Ahorcado, and continue south toward Mexico City.
Above San Juan del Rio, the line passes through
a horseshoe curve, doubling back through the outskirts of town as it gains elevation. The line also passes through a few tunnels in this area. Above, a southbound KCSM manifest train is passing through Tunnel 8 as it climbs toward Hidalgo. Below, moments later this empty auto train is passing through the same tunnel on the other main track. The train is lead by a brand new ES44AC, still wearing its GE applied primer. The unit will eventually be painted into KCSM's "belle" paint scheme in San Luis Potosi.
The Mountains - Linea B
Meanwhile, Ferromex's Linea B begins climbing further to the east. This line is much steeper and more windy than the modernized Linea A. Linea B climbs to a pass above the resort town of Tequisquiapan before descending into a neighboring valley in Hidalgo state.
Above Tequisquiapan, the tracks curve southward into a canyon that leads toward the summit of the climb. Above, a northbound intermodal train loops around the hillside as it descends into the distant valley.
At the summit above Tequisquiapan, the tracks pass through a rock-lined tunnel under the ridge. The tunnel passes under the Querétaro-Hidalgo state line. Here, a northbound train is still pulling hard as it exits the north portal of the tunnel.
In the middle of this valley is the city of Huichipan. Here, the line begins to climb again, encountering a stiff grade as the tracks climb southward. Here, a southbound grain train is curving through Huichapan siding as it begins to climb through the city of Huichipan.
In the highlands of Hidalgo, early morning fog often fills the valleys. Here, a long southbound train is looping around the town of San José Atlan - although it is not visible. (scanned from B&W negative)
At San Sebastian, the line passes through two horseshoe curves as it loops up the hillside to gain elevation. This northbound intermodal train is curving through the bottom loop while coasting down-grade without its headlights on.
Meanwhile, on the opposite side of this valley, KCSM's Linea A crosses a plateau that keeps their route level, straight and fast. This train is leaning into a curve above the town of Nopala. The resevoir there can be seen in the distance.
On the Ferromex line, the grade begins to let up at Nopala. Here, the tracks run along the banks of a large reservoir as they continue to climb toward a summit south of the town.
South of Nopala, Linea A and Linea B converge again at Argon, sharing the same right of way over the summit of the grade. Although there is a connection between the two lines, they are opperated seperately. This southbound train is entering the shared right of way at Argon on Linea B. The two tracks to the left are KCSM's double tracked mainline. The train can still be seen in the distance winding through the town of Nopala.
A fast northbound intermodal train at Argon on Linea A. Ferromex's Linea B is in the foreground.
Maravillas is the summit of the grades between Queretaro and Mexico City. Here, the two lines diverge again to the south, begining the descent into the Valle de Mexico and Mexico City.
On Ferromex's Linea B, a northbound empty grain train is climbing toward the summit. The difference of grades and curvature on Linea A and B is easily visible here.
After descending into the Valle de Mexico, Linea A and Linea B again connect at the city of Huehuetoca. It is at Huehuetoca that Ferrovalle (FC Terminal Valle de Mexcio - the terminal railway of Mexico City) ownership of both lines begin. From the connection with Linea B, if is four main track the rest of the way into Mexico City.
In the 1980's, Linea A was rebuilt almost entirely on a new allignment. The original line still exists in many places - often used for storage of condemned cars. here, a southbound train has descended out of the distant hills and is arriving at Huehuetoca. Linea A joins the original right of way - seen diverging to the right.
The same southbound TFM train is shown passing a Ferrovalle switcher at Huehuetoca.