Part 1:
1870-1907

Part 2:
1908-1949

Part 3:
1950-current

Part 4:
El Territorio

Part 5: Mapas y Bibliografía

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Querétaro, Qro.: a chronology of railroad development: part 3

1951 (September 23)  The Distrito de Irapuato (Mariscala to Irapuato) of Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México was renamed Distrito de Cortázar.  (Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México División de Querétaro, Suplemento No.1 al Horario No.4, 23 de Septiembre de 1951)

1956 (June 27)  Though not directly affecting Querétaro, expansion of NdeM’s México terminal area caused the Distrito de San Juan del Río (Línea A) and Distrito de Huichapan (Línea B) to be shortened to Huehuetoca (Estado de México) to La Griega on their respective routes. However, the south end of the División de Querétaro where it joined the División de México, Subdivisión Terminal del Valle de México remained for administrative purposes at Lechería, Estado de México.  (Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México División de México, Subdivisión Terminal del Valle de México Horario No.9, 27 de Junio 1956 [Division de Querétaro Horario No.5 was issued the same day])

late 1962 - early 1963  Parques Industriales de Querétaro, beginning with the factories Compacto and Industria del Hierro was established in the northern part of Querétaro. A spur to the factory of Link-Belt Speeder de México, S.A. was also part of this complex. The railroad spur serving them from Línea B near kilometer 266.9, was probably built at the same time.  (González y González, Transporte en Querétaro en el Siglo XX, p.87, 118, 165, 167; Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México División de Querétaro Horario No.8, 29 de Noviembre de 1976)

late 1960s - early 1970s  Parque Industrial Benito Juárez was established, to the northwest of urban Querétaro. The 6 kilometer railroad spur, terminating in a loop encircling a hill, was built some 800 meters west of and parallel to Avenida Cinco de Febrero. Now referred to as “Vía Industrias Benito Juárez”, as of early 2003 serves the factories of Industria Envasadora de Querétaro [Coca-Cola], Mabe Refrigeradores, Cia. Vidriera, Vitro American National Can, Spicer-Cardanes, Forjas Spicer, Tremec, Almacenadora Mercader, Kosafil, Kosa [quimicas], and Servilamina Summit Mexicana. The last several hundred meters of the Vía Industrias, clockwise around the loop from the Servilamina spur to the junction switch south of the hill, is out of service.  (González y González, Transporte en Querétaro en el Siglo XX, p.88; observations by Todd Minsk. February 2003)

1970 (October 20)  New Línea BC placed in service as Distrito de Pozo Blanco of División de San Luis, between Ahorcado (junction with Línea A), crossing Línea B near Viborillas, to Villa Reyes (SLP) kilometer BC-180.0/B-485.0. (Distrito de Pozo Blanco continued as Línea B to San Luis Potosí, superceding Distrito de Río Laja.) As part of the same project, the 57.5 kilometer Línea BD was constructed from Rinconcillo (B-328.1) to Ing. Buchanan Lopez (BC-97.8) and Línea B taken up from Rinconcillo to Villa Reyes. This removed from Querétaro city most of the traffic moving to/from San Luis Potosí and other points to the north.  (Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México División de San Luis Suplemento No.1 al Horario No.7, 20 de Octubre 1970)

circa 1974  Studies commenced on remedies to augment the capacities of Líneas A and B between México and the Querétaro area, a zone that had become a traffic bottleneck. This project eventually became known as the “Doble Vía Electrificada México-Querétaro” and took the form of a new double track railroad closely parallel to, and on some segments a reconstruction of, Línea A.  (México. Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes, Vía Férrea México-Querétaro, p.60; Middleton, William D. “Mexican National Railways is back on the track”, Railway Age, October 11 1976, p.34-38)

circa 1979 to early 1980s  Construction of the “Doble Vía Férrea México-Querétaro” (electrification was to come later), took place. The precise stages of development are not detailed here, for lack of sources. The changes affecting the Querétaro area, geographically from east to west (railroad direction south to north), can be summarized as follows. From east of Ahorcado, (to be precise from kilometer A-203.3 near Chintepec) to estación La Griega, a second track was built parallel to Línea A. The two tracks were redesignated Líneas AQ and BQ, though it is not clear which was the original Línea A and which is its newer twin. Yard tracks at Ahorcado were modified. From estación La Griega to the vicinity of Calle Palomas (Colonia Alamos) in Querétaro (approximately kilometer B-266), Líneas AQ and BQ were continued on new construction, generally parallel to Línea B but on an alignment of more favorable gradient and curvature. Substantial earthwork, including deep cuttings and three cut-and-cover tunnels, were involved. The new tracks AQ-BQ are south of Línea B from estación La Griega west to kilometer B-256.94/AQ-BQ-232+820.  At that location, a few hundred meters west of the pueblo of Saldarriaga, the new route bridges existing Línea B and continues on its north side the remainder of the distance. A connection track was installed at kilometer B-264.9 with Línea AQ at kilometer 240.8 (west of Hércules km B-264.1), and Línea B removed from km 264.9 to approximately B-266.1. From Calle Palomas, west through the Querétaro terminal all the way to Las Adjuntas, Línea B was double tracked (in part apparently converted from yard track) and redesignated Líneas AQ and BQ. From the west (railroad north) end of Las Adjuntas (kilometer B-280.0) the “vía de conexión que une las vías principales de las distritos Querétaro y Cortázar” (probably the former Ferrocarril Central Mexicano Línea A) to Mariscala connection was upgraded to main track status, and with parallel Línea B also designated Líneas AQ and BQ; it is presumed the “vía de conexión” was the south track of the pair. At the east (railroad south) switch of Conexión Mariscala (kilometer AQ-BQ-262.1/B-285.9), a point later designated Obrajuelos, Línea BQ merges into Línea AQ, and Línea B resumes (kilometer AQ-BQ-261 to 262 is only about 800 meters, in an adjustment of the measurements). This is the west (railroad north) end of the “Doble Vía Férrea México-Querétaro”. A few meters farther west along single-track Línea B, Línea A diverges towards Irapuato and Ciudad Juárez. A new yard (Querétaro Carga) was built along the north side of Líneas AQ-BQ from kilometer 246.7 (a few meters west of Avenida Cinco de Febrero; most of the yard tracks begin at the connection switch of Vía Industrias Benito Juárez) to “Entrada Norte Querétaro Carga”, kilometer AQ-BQ-251.5. (Apart from the lead track, the yard ends at Colonia Santa María Magdalena, km AQ-BQ-249.8). New highway and pedestrian overpasses were installed at several places along the length of the route.  (Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México Comisión de Horarios, “Principales Caracteristicas del Desvío entre San Juan del Río y Chintepec, del Distrito de San Juan del Río” undated document supplementing División de Querétaro Horario No.8, circa 1977-78; Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México División de Querétaro Horario No.9, 21 de Abril de 1987; Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México [Ferrocarril del Noreste] División Querétaro Suplemento No.1 al Horario No.9, 17 de Noviembre de 1995; observations by Todd Minsk, November 2002 and February 2003)

1980 (December 22)  As part of the project Doble Vía Férrea México-Querétaro, the former Distrito de San Juan del Río (Huehuetoca to La Griega) was renamed Distrito de Tula.  (Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México División de Querétaro Suplemento No.1 al Horario No.8, 22 de Diciembre de 1980)

1982 (September) through 1983  NdeM purchased 39 model E60C electric locomotives, numbered EA001 to EA039, built by General Electric Company at Erie (Pennsylvania) USA. Delivery was delayed several months. In 1984 the units were moved to Salinas (SLP) for storage pending erection of the electrification on the México-Querétaro line.  (Will, Dick “Annual Motive Power Review”, Extra 2200 South magazine, Issue 81 (July-August-September 1984), p.16-17; México. Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes, Vía Férrea México-Querétaro, p.150)

1986 (June 2)  The “Doble Vía Férrea México-Querétaro” was put in service along 200 of its 245 kilometers; the incomplete areas unspecified. Plans were to extend the double tracking a further 89 kilometers to Irapuato; construction commenced but apparently was never completed.  (México. Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes, Vía Férrea México-Querétaro, p.6, 65)

1987 (April 21)  Further track redesignations took place. The Distrito de Tula (Líneas AQ and BQ, Huehuetoca to estación La Griega) was renamed Distrito de Aragón. The Distrito de Querétaro (La Griega to Escobedo) was rerouted along the new Líneas AQ and BQ from estación La Griega to kilometer AQ-BQ-245.1, which was the existing Querétaro freight yard, newly identified as “Querétaro”. With this change, the passenger station at kilometer AQ-BQ-244.5 went unrecognized in the timetable. Línea B remained in service west of Querétaro. At this date, Líneas AQ and BQ did not yet extend farther west, and the new yard Querétaro Carga was not yet built. Línea B from estación La Griega west to the connection with Línea AQ west of Hércules was no longer in the timetable. It may have been out of service, or treated as yard track.  (Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México División de Querétaro Horario No.9, 21 de Abril de 1987)

1989 (December 15)  The Distrito de Pozo Blanco (Línea BC at Ahorcado) was redesignated as the Distrito de Melchor with the termini unchanged, Ahorcado to San Luis Potosí.  (Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México Division de San Luis Horario No.9, 15 de Diciembre de 1989)

circa 1988 to early 1990s  Electrification in the form of 25,000 volt 50hz catenary was installed over Líneas AQ and BQ from México, terminating west of Querétaro at kilometer AQ-BQ-250+600. In addition to the two main tracks, certain yard tracks at Ahorcado and Querétaro Carga were equipped, as well as about 800 meters of Línea BC at its separation from Línea BQ at the west (railroad north) end of Ahorcado. The construction and maintenance base for the Querétaro area was at San Juan del Río. Electricity was supplied by the national grid of Comisión Federal de Electricidad, and three of the substations were located between Ahorcado and Querétaro. The electric locomotives EA001 to EA039 did not appear in the tonnage ratings for the División de Querétaro as of 1987.  (México. Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes, Vía Férrea México-Querétaro, p.153, 157; “Mexico Redresses Neglect”, International Railway Journal, v.27 no.10, October 1987, p.38-42; observations by Todd Minsk, November 2002 and February 2003; Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México División de Querétaro Horario No.9, 21 de Abril de 1987)

1990 (December 28)  A three month test period began on the electrification of Líneas AQ-BQ between San Juan del Río and Ahorcado.  (Mexico News [railfan newsletter], June 12, 1991)

by 1992  The eastern part of Parques Industriales de Querétaro had been converted into a sequestered residential development named Claustros del Parque. In the western part, the factory of Industria del Hierro also closed, but unknown if at the same time. By late 2002, the railroad spur from kilometer Juá-Mor-242.7 was disconnected and out of service, yet remaining intact east of Avenida Corregidora. However, the spur was still recognized by Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México as late as 1995, identified as the property of Banco Internacional Inmobilario S.A., though this note was being repeated unchanged since at least 1976.  (Guía Roji, S.A. de C.V. Ciudad de Querétaro [map, escala 1:15,000] 1992; Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México División de Querétaro Horario No.8, 29 de Noviembre de 1976; Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México [Ferrocarril del Noreste] División Querétaro Suplemento No.1 al Horario No.9, 17 de Noviembre de 1995; observations by Todd Minsk, November 2002)

1994 (February 14)  The “Doble Vía Electrificada México-Querétaro” electrification of Líneas AQ-BQ was officially put into service between México (Buenavista) and Querétaro with an inaugural train. Unfortunately, it was never particularly successful. Among other complications, Querétaro was not a locomotive or crew terminal for through service. Terminating the catenary there introduced logistical difficulties, though early plans had foreseen the electrification extending to Irapuato on Línea A and to San Luis Potosí on Línea BC from Ahorcado.  (Hernandez Lecanda, Ricardo “Re: Original NdeM electrification questions” Mexlist [Internet discussion group] message no.1141, January 9, 2000; “NdeM: Eliminating the bottleneck”, Railway Age, March 31 1980, p.12-14)

1995 (July 28)  Operation of CTC (Control Centralizado de Tráfico) began from Teoloyucan (kilometer AQ-BQ-36+175) to Ahorcado (kilometer AQ-BQ-215+394) on the east edge of the Querétaro area, from the dispatch center located at Terminal Valle de México. Another dispatch center controlling Ahorcado northward was built at Querétaro, in a new building immediately east of the old passenger station.  (SCT/FNM Información de Vía: Boletín Información Interna, no.39, Julio 1995, p.8; México. Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes, Vía Férrea México-Querétaro, p.128, 152; observations by Todd Minsk, November 2002)

1995 (November 13)  Preparatory to issuing concessions for privatization, Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México was divided into regions, officially announced by publication in the Diario Oficial de la Federación on this date. The Querétaro area was affected. To Ferrocarril del Noreste went Línea Juárez (formerly Línea AQ) and Línea Morelos (formerly Línea BQ), Buenavista to Mariscala [Obrajuelos]; Línea B, Mariscala to the north; and Línea BC, Ahorcado to the north. To Ferrocarril Pacífico-Norte went Línea A, Mariscala to the north; and Línea B, Huehuetoca to km B-265+015 [west of Hércules]. In effect, for this part of the system, this action reversed the 1909 merger of Ferrocarril Central Mexicano with Ferrocarril Nacional de México. [The regionalization plan appears to have been announced earlier in an issue of SCT/FNM Información de Vía: Boletín Información Interna, that in the sequence should be number 41, Septiembre 1995, but the issue number and date are suppressed, suggesting that it was releasing information prematurely.]  (Moreno Quintero, Eric “Privatización ferroviaria mexicana: Fechas, hechos y cifras 95-98”, Instituto Mexicano del Transporte boletín Notas, no.45 marzo de 1999; Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México “Esquima de reestructuración del Sistema Ferroviario Nacional”, version of 8 Enero 1998)

1995 (November 17)  Líneas AQ and BQ were redesignated over their entire lengths “Línea Juárez” and “Línea Morelos” respectively, to eliminate confusion over track identities during radio dispatching. This was precipitated by two tragic collisions near Querétaro in which several railroaders perished and six of the electric locomotives destroyed. Both were in an area of steep-walled rock cuts, the first at kilometer BQ-236 on May 12, 1994, and the second at kilometer BQ-234 on August 9, 1995. Other adjustments of November 17, 1995 were: The station of La Griega was moved from kilometer AQ-BQ-229.1, 1700 meters east (railroad south) to kilometer Juárez-Morelos-227.4, a place with the civic name of Cerrito Colorado, and a track connection established there between Líneas B and Morelos. The Querétaro passenger station returned to the timetable, newly designated “Querétaro Pasajeros”. A new station of Obrajuelos was created at kilometer Juárez-Morelos-262.1/B-285.9 to designate the west (railroad north) end of the “Vía Férrea México-Querétaro”, separating that point from Conexión Mariscala. The Distrito de Querétaro was shortened to extend from the new estación La Griega to Obrajuelos, using both the Juárez and Morelos tracks, and renamed simply “Distrito Querétaro”. The segment of Línea B from Mariscala (kilometer B-286.5) to Escobedo (kilometer 313.4) was renamed Distrito Escobedo, dispatched by Control de Tráfico Centralizado, but the CTC was discontinued from estación La Griega to Obrajuelos and replaced by train order dispatching. The approximately 600 meters of Línea B from Obrajuelos to Mariscala were designated as yard track and did not appear in the timetable. The old Línea B from estación La Griega to west (railroad north) of Hércules was rejuvenated as the Distrito La Cañada, kilometer B-251.5 to “Conexión Norte Distrito La Cañada” at kilometer B-264.9, where it joined Línea Juárez at kilometer Juá-240.8. [Apparently the Distrito La Cañada was used as a bypass around Líneas Juárez and Morelos for trains with double-stack containers, due to insufficient clearance under the catenary.]  (Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México [Ferrocarril del Noreste] División Querétaro Suplemento No.1 al Horario No.9, 17 de Noviembre de 1995; Celorio, Juan M. in Mexlist [Internet discussion group] message no.680, October 3, 1999; observations by Todd Minsk, November 2002 and February 2003)

1997 (March 31)  FNM enumerated their train dispatcher positions in an internal document. The Querétaro dispatch center was shared between the Ferrocarril Noreste and the Pacífico-Norte, with four positions and one “relief” for each, although the Pacífico-Norte had three chief dispatchers at Querétaro while the Noreste had none. The rest of the Querétaro division dispatch force was based at Terminal Valle de México, also shared between the two railroads, and this was the site of Ferrocarril Noreste’s chiefs. Línea BC, as part of the División de San Luis, was controlled from Monterrey.  (Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México Gerencia de Transporte “Relación de Plazas de Despachadores y Jefes de Despachadores Asignados a los Centros de Despacho del Sistema Ferroviario Nacional”, 31 de Marzo de 1997)

1997 (June 23)  Transportación Ferroviaria Mexicana (TFM) began operations of the Ferrocarril Noreste, having been awarded the first of the regional concessions December 2, 1996. Operations around Querétaro were structured this way: The Distrito de Tula was formed by the Líneas Juárez and Morelos from México [Buenavista] to Ahorcado, Línea BC Ahorcado to Villa Reyes (SLP), and continuing to San Luis Potosí. The Distrito de Mariscala comprised the north end of Líneas Juárez and Morelos from Ahorcado to Obrajuelos (operated under yard limits) and Línea B Obrajuelos to Escobedo. Electric operations were discontinued by the end of 1997, and the E60C locomotives returned to storage, some in the Ahorcado yard, where they remained several years before disposal. It was reported that the Líneas Juárez-Morelos had the catenary raised over one track for increased overhead clearance, and the same undertaken for the other track, but apparently never completed, and catenary was removed from both tracks north of Huehuetoca by an inspecific date a few years later. With transfer of a large part of the División Querétaro to TFM control, its trackage that had been assigned to Ferrocarril Pacífico-Norte was redesignated División Irapuato: Línea B, Distrito Huichapan from Huehuetoca to estación La Griega; Línea B, Distrito La Cañada from estación La Griega to Conexión Norte Distrito La Cañada; and Línea A, Distrito Cortázar from Mariscala to Irapuato. An operating timetable was printed for the División Irapuato, but may never have been put into effect; it is undated, marked only “Autorización de la Dirección General de Transporte Ferroviario de la Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes, con oficio 120.204-531/96, del 12 de diciembre de 1996”.  (Moreno Quintero, Eric “Privatización ferroviaria mexicana: Fechas, hechos y cifras 95-98”, Instituto Mexicano del Transporte boletín Notas, no.45 marzo de 1999; Transportación Ferroviaria Mexicana proof copy of employee timetable, undated; “Big three lead rail renaissance”, Railway Gazette International, May 1999, p.304-312; McManus, Lowell G. “E60C update” Mexlist [Internet discussion group] message no.4086, February 16, 2002; Escobar, Sergio “Re: [MEXLIST] Doble vía en México” Mexlist [Internet discussion group] message no.3622, August 29, 2001; Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México [Ferrocarril Pacífico-Norte] División Irapuato Horario No.1, sin fecha circa 1996)

1998 (February 19)  Ferrocarril Mexicano (“Ferromex”) had been awarded the concession to the FNM Ferrocarril Pacífico-Norte on June 27, 1997, almost the same date that TFM assumed operations of the Ferrocarril Noreste. February 19, 1998, was the inauguration of Ferromex operations. It was over a year before they issued an operating timetable for their División Centro México, whose territory extended from Huehuetoca (Estado de México) through Querétaro all the way to Torreón (Coahuila). Ferromex combined what had been FNM’s Distritos Huichapan and La Cañada into the prolonged Distrito Huichapan from Huehuetoca to kilometer B-265.015 west (railroad north) of Hércules, a point renamed Conexión Norte Distrito Huichapan from Conexión Norte Distrito La Cañada. This district was dispatched using CTC from Huehuetoca to Viborillas (kilometer B-244.450), yard limits from there to estación La Griega (kilometer B-251.415), and “estandar” [train orders] the rest of the way. From Conexión Norte Distrito Huichapan to Mariscala connection, Ferromex was granted trackage rights over the TFM Líneas Juárez-Morelos between those points, returning to its own Línea A at kilometer A-263.922 (Mariscala connection) as the Distrito Cortázar with CTC to Irapuato, kilometer A-352.8. Ferromex also gained trackage rights over TFM on Líneas Juárez-Morelos from Huehuetoca north to Conexión Norte Distrito Huichapan, and on Línea BC from Viborillas connection (kilometer BC-8.756) to the Saltillo area.  (Moreno Quintero, Eric “Privatización ferroviaria mexicana: Fechas, hechos y cifras 95-98”, Instituto Mexicano del Transporte boletín Notas, no.45 marzo de 1999; Ferrocarril Mexicano División Centro México Horario No.1, 11 de Mayo de 1999)

2001 (circa June)  TFM found itself with a short segment of track that it described as “redundant” that they planned to sell back to the Mexican government “for inclusion in another railroad concession”. This developed to be the part of TFM’s Distrito de Mariscala between Hércules and Mariscala, that was reported to be transferred to Ferromex, giving the latter company control of its route through Querétaro and avoiding reliance on trackage rights over TFM. However, TFM retains control of the yard and station operations at Querétaro.  (Kansas City Southern Industries Annual Report 1998, p.14, 74; McManus, Lowell G. “Misplaced branch lineMexlist [Internet discussion group] message no.2957, June 21, 2001; observations by Todd Minsk, November 2002 and February 2003)

Part 1:
1870-1907

Part 2:
1908-1949

Part 3:
1950-current

Part 4:
El Territorio

Part 5: Mapas y Bibliografía

return to home page