Ferrosur's mainline from Mexico City climbs out of the Valle de Mexico eastward into the high plateaus and valleys of Tlaxcala and Puebla states. Along the foot of La Malinche, the line reaches its highest elevation at the Huamantla Summit - 8,235'. These high valleys are surrounded by many volcanic peaks of the Sierra Madre Orientals.
One of my first impressions from this years visit to Ferrosur Teritory was the amount of Ferromex AC44CW's that Ferrosur has reportedly purchased. They are still painted in Ferromex colors, but relettered for Ferrosur. I'd imagine that Ferrosur's AC44CW fleet has almost doubled with the addition of the Ferromex units. But aptly so, because their mainline was about the busiest that I have ever seen it over the time that I was there.
For a map of Linea S, click here:
The Mexico City radio stations are beginning to fade away as I drive behind Popocatépetl and Ixtaccíhuatl. Mexico City lies immediately on the other side of the two peaks. The Ferrosur mainline passes to the north of them as they climb out of the Valle de Mexico into the high plateaus and valleys of Tlaxcala and Puebla States.
Near Soltepec, a southbound manifest train moves along at track speed.
A southbound manifest train slowly climbs the steep grade approaching Muñoz siding. The train will take the siding here to meet an approaching northbound.
The same southbound train pulling into the siding at Muñoz.
The southbound manifest train had a surprise on the rear, a Ferrosur passenger car.
Here is a view of Huamantla Summit. Along the foot of La Malinche, this crest 8,235' crest is the highest point on Linea S between Mexico City and Veracruz. Notice the peak of Pico de Orizaba visible on the horizon to the right.
Between San Marcos and Jesus de Nazareno, Linea S encounters a short but steep hill. This southbound train was moving at near the track speed of 70 KPH, but was quickly down to a crawl as it started up the short grade.
Near the summit of this short grade, there is an abundance of pine trees. Here, a southbound vehicle train with a single locomotive is struggling up the grade, approaching the summit. The engineer momentarily turned off the headlight as he approached my location.
In the shadow of Pico de Orizaba, the same southbound vehicle train is beginning the short descent toward Jesus de Nazareno.
South of Jesus de Nazareno, Ferrosur trains enter Linea SC, also known as FNM's Distrito Acultzingo. This is the line relocation that take Ferrosur's mainline down the face of the Sierra Madre Orriental to Orizaba. This southbound vehicle train is beginning the trip across Linea SC at San Antonio Soledad. The west slope of Pico de Orizaba is visible to the right of the train.