Of course, a trip to Mexico is not complete without a visit to Ferrosur's Linea S, their mainline between Mexico City and Veracruz. The line climbs eastward out of the Valle de Mexico, and across the high plateaus of Tlaxcala and Puebla before descending to the Gulf coastal plain via the impressively engineered Linea SC.
For a map, and more information on the line, follow these links;
As the morning fog burns off, Iztaccíhuatl becomes visible above this northbound manifest train near Soltepec.
Leaving Muñoz, northbound trains drop into a series of several steep sags. The howl of dynamic braking quickly changes to that of run 8 as this northbound manifest train negotiates the first such sag.
A new development (to me) along the Ferrosur mainline is the installation of several automatic crossing gates. The vast majority of grade crossings in Mexico are protected by only warning signs. While these gates are a fairly new installation, they remained stuck in the lowered position after the passage of this northbound train at Guadalupe.
A northbound train passes the well kept kept at Apan.
The abandoned depot in the small village of Acopinalco still stands as a northbound intermodal train approaches in the distance.
A southbound quimico bound for Coatzacoalcos climbs the short steep grade out of Apan.
Local sheep herders barely notice as two trains meet at Soltepec.
At Calderon, Linea S crosses KCSM's Mexico-Veracruz line at grade. Both lines are dark territory, governed by track warrants. The crossing is simply protected by instructions for all trains to come to a complete stop before proceeding across the diamond. Basically, whoever arrives first will proceed first - although the KCSM line sees only an occasional train.
A northbound intermodal train climbs out of a small valley at Guadalupe.
In the town of Acultzingo, a southbound unit cement train descends the steep grade. The tracks of Linea SC can be seen at two levels on the hillside above the train as they wind up through the Sierra Madre Orientals.
High above Acultzingo, the tracks make a horseshoe curve almost completely within two tunnel. There is only a short break in the curve where the tracks emerge high above the town of Acultzingo. This southbound train is negotiating the horseshoe, seen between the two tunnels. Below, about 15 minutes later, the same train is again visible nearing the valley floor.
A southbound train enters the second tunnel while negotiating the curve.
Looking down from the upper horseshoe curve, a unit grain train winds through Acultzingo. In the picture below, notice that another horseshoe curve lies above the town on the opposite side of the valley. Another tunnel is also visible above the train to the left.