Ferromex's Linea A - Juarez to Torreon

Originally built as the Ferrocarril Central Mexicano (Mexican Central), NdeM's Linea A extends from Juarez, Chihuahua to Mexico City. After the privatization of 1997, Ferromex took ownership of Linea From Juarez to Queretaro. From Juarez to Torreon, Linea A is a moderately used mainline running through a series of long valleys until reaching "La Laguna," the huge desert basin in which the city of Torreon lies.
Ciudad Juarez
Juarez is the border city, across from El Paso, Texas. Ferromex interchanges with both BNSF and UP via two International bridges over the Rio Grande. Because Ferromex's trackage runs through downtown Juarez, the mayor has required that interchanges are only performed at night - from 9:00 PM through 6:30 AM. The main Ferromex yard lies immediately south of downtown Juarez.

A Ferromex yard job proceeds north across the International bridge, hurrying to make one last interchange with BNSF before the curfew begins at 6:30 AM.

Ferromex's official map of Division Chihuahua

A northbound vehicle train is approaching Villa Ahumada. The empty containers on the head end last carried automobile parts southward to the assembly plant. Now, the auto racks are returning in the same train loaded with new automobiles, headed for interchange to the UP at El Paso.

Near Villa Ahumada, the very recognizable mountains of Cerros Los Arrados stand over the line. This unit grain train is struggling up one of the many short grades toward Moctezuma siding. (low reolution scan from slide)

A southbound train of empty autoracks is moving through a valley south of Moctezuma while the tops of "Los Cerros" are still visible in the background.



The city of Chihuahua is at the crossroads of of the former FC Chihuahua al Pacifico and the Mexican Central. This is Ferromex's base for its Copper Canyon operations. The former Mexican Central yard in central Chihuahua has been abandoned and almost entirely removed in favor of the Chihuahua al Pacfico yard near the junction of the two lines. The roundhouse has since been turned into modern office buildings and much of the property has been turned into the city's convention center.

A unit grain train of all BNSF equipment is crossing Rio Sacramento as it winds through central Chihuahua. This train is approaching the site of the former NdeM yard that has been nearly abandoned.

A northbound grain train is leaving the former Chihuahua al Pacifico yard, heading toward central Chihuahua and Juarez.

South of Chihuahua, the tracks enter the long fertile valley of the Rio Conchos. Because three flowing rivers converge in this valley, there is enough water to sustain an agriculture industry. Above, a roadswitcher based at Delicias is pulling through Bachimba siding as a southbound train approaches on the mainline.

A southbound manifest passing over some undulating track near Delicias.

The same southbound as above is winding through the valley nearing Santa Rosalia Comargo.

Approaching Jimenez, the tracks cross over Rio Concho, then begin climbing into the high valleys of northern Durango state.

South of Jimenez, this northbound manifest train is led by two C30-7's and a BNSF 9-44CW.

As the line nears Torreon, the tracks drop into La Laguna - the large dry lake bed in which the city of Torreon lies. The tracks closely parallel Highway 45 until reaching the outskirts of town. This southbound auto train is passing the abandoned depot at Cadena.

The line first enters Gomez Palacio, Durango - the sister city of Torreon - and joins Linea M from Monterrey and Piedras Negras. In Gomez Palacio, this southbound train of mostly Cemex coal hoppers is about to cross the Rio Nazas into the city of Torreon, Coahuila.

Approaching the main yard at Torreon, the line winds through some crowded and dense residential neighborhoods.

Approaching the yard from the north, the tracks pass through a busy corner of downtown Torreon. There are many busy crossings in this area making it almost impossible to take a telephoto shots without any traffic. Above, a school girl crosses in front of a southbound manifest as it enters the yard. Below, a southbound intermodal train is meeting a northbound at the North end of Torreon yard. A motorcycle rider squeezes between the two moving trains before the crossing is blocked.

A southbound entering Torreon Yard.


dronescenza said...

Hi Nate, my name is Marco I live in San Francisco. I was googleing how to get to Torreon from Juarez by train and i found the link to your blog; That's exactly what i needed! is there any chanche i can contact you and ask you few question about the trip? i'm planning to get to Juarez by december 20th.

this my email mr.marco.poggio@gmail.com
and this is my number
415 573 5854

I hope to hear from you

Walk said...

I love your photographs of trains. Thanks for sharing.

Marie said...

Dear Nate, I wanted to leave a comment here to encourage you to carry on this blog. As it happens, I came across it during a research on §Hacienda Tabaloapa and generally the Chihuahua trail on the Camino Real for a travelling TV programme called Globe Trekker (also known as Lonely Planet guides). We are thinking of doing a story on the route the train is taking. I would love to talk to you about it. You have my details, I look forward to hearing from you. Keep up the good work. Take care.

Unknown said...

Hi nate !! I'm planning a trip this weekend to hop freight from Nogales to tepic nayarit. And found your blog tremendously helpful there isn't a lot of info for hobos going south with the exception of border towns and simply where the yard office is....so thanks man...