The International Steam Pages

Preserved Electric Traction in Mexico, 2012

Thomas Kautzor reports on some preserved items recorded during his November 2012 visit. Click here for the index to the other reports which include steam locomotives, stationary steam and railway cranes.

On its 267-mile railway between Veracruz and Mexico City, the FC Mexicano faced the Maltrata incline between Paso del Macho (1,560 ft) and Esperanza (8,045 ft) – 4.7% grades and 16.5° curves over a distance of 64 miles. The FCM’s initial solution was to use Fairlie articulated steam locomotives, but with increasing traffic in 1924 the section between Orizaba and Esperanza was electrified, extended east from Orizaba to Cordoba (16 miles) in 1926 and in 1928 electrification to Paso del Macho (18 miles). Twelve B+B+B locomotives numbered 1001-1012 were provided by ALCO/GE, ten in 06-1923 and an additional two in 10-1929. They worked under 3000 volt D.C. current and were equipped with regenerative braking and multiple unit control. They could also be seen working in conjunction with steam or diesel locos. They had an output of 2520 hp and two locomotives were limited to 660 tonnes on the gradient. After FCM was incorporated into NdeM in 1960, the electrics were relettered in 1965. Electrification ended in 1974 and a number of the locos have been preserved. The line from Cordoba via Orizaba to Esperanza has been replaced by a new line with easier grades.

FCM 1001 is on display at the National Railway Museum in Puebla, PUE.

FCM 1002 is plinthed in the middle of the main road through Orizaba, VERACRUZ (east side of town);

FCM 1003 is on display at the Museum of Technology (MUTEC), Chapultepec Park, Mexico City, DF;

FCM 1012 is plinthed at the point where the new line diverts from the old line southwest of Orizaba, VERACRUZ.

Veracruz tram 001 is on display at Parque Zamora in Veracruz. It was rebuilt from open tram 8 (J. G. Birll 1908) in 1976 as “Tranvía de Recuerdo” (Nostalgia Streetcar) for tourist service on the city’s remaining tram lines and ran until the system closed completely on August 16, 1981. For more about the Veracruz trams, see

Rob Dickinson