The Los Tuxtlas Railroad, running from Juan Rodriguez Clara to San Andrés Tuxtla was completed in 1913. The last train left San
Andrés in 1992. American companies handled most of the construction engineering

In spring 2005 we set off to retrace the disappeared Tuxtlas railroad.

Most of the track has been ripped out and is used as construction supports, garden fencing and whatnot. Almost nothing remains
of what was once the life line for dozens of communities.

We were possibly the last tourist to cross this route. The October 2005 floods wiped out access to the remaining major bridge.

And that is probably the end of the Tuxtlas railroad.  A bad end to a good road. That area of Los Tuxtlas is still in the 1900´s and
although continuously disrupted dirt roads have been established and are now being paved, its inhabitants still clamor for their

A curious reminder of these halcyon days are the famous
canasta tacos of Tilapan, a former train stop, where locals used to
offer food to travellers.
as usual - "damn yankees" were here
A sleeping giant, Rio San Juan controls a wide
floodplain of the train´s route
At last a live engine - in Juan Rodriguez Clara
Historic Photos of the railroad
mostly collected from railroad buffs, wall hangings, and local books
The famous canasta tacos from Tilapan.
The Los Tuxtlas Railroad
San Andrés Tuxtla, Veracruz

By 1997, almost all passenger trains had disappeared from Mexico, leaving only regular scheduled rail service through the
Copper Canyon in Chihuahua, and assorted tourist trains like the
Tequila Express in Guadalajara featuring mariachi music on

I took the
Tijuana -Tecate  train about 15 years ago, and it still running. Another memorial train Cuautla, Morelos I missed on its
days off.

Over the last 12 years, Mexico has rediscovered rail service, an numerous urban rail systems have been constructed,
primarily around Mexico City.

In 2009 Mexico issued a new plastic 100 peso bill featuring a steam locomotive from the old days. Curiously this was steam
engine number 279, manufactured by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia, PA in 1882 for the Denver & Rio
Grande rail line and later sold to Mexico, where it is still in use in Cuautla.
In 2010 Mexico again stuck a locomotive on its money. This time it was more than likely another Baldwin engine, number 289.

This may be the same engine as one on display in a US railroad museum, I imagine heads will roll in the Mexican mint, when the
whereabouts of this national symbol are discovered.

Meanwhile, the 2 ounze 99.99% silver coin has been awarded the title of "most beautiful coin in the world" by a numismatic
Photo:Frank Barry
Photo:Frank Barry