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Nostalgia & History > Mexican freight cars in the US pre-NAFTA


Date: 04/07/21 10:39
Mexican freight cars in the US pre-NAFTA
Author: fr8kar

In the pre-NAFTA years, was it uncommon to find Mexican freight cars in the US or am I just looking in the wrong places? I'm interested in learning what commodities were traded in the 70s and 80s via rail across the US-Mexican border and what equipment was used.

Ryan Harris
NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX
Ryan's Photo Gallery



Date: 04/07/21 12:24
Re: Mexican freight cars in the US pre-NAFTA
Author: Korigaoka1811

Back then I did most of my train-watching in Southern California and in Nebraska during summer vacations.  I recall very occasionally seeing NdeM and FC-P boxcars in frieghts on the SP's Sunset mainline to and from LA, but no where else.  (And I was a freight car watcher and photographer so I would have definately noted a Mexican freight car on the Santa Fe thru San Bernardino or in Omaha.)

John



Date: 04/07/21 13:25
Re: Mexican freight cars in the US pre-NAFTA
Author: ns2557

Growing up in the Harrisburg Pa area I did see a few NdeM Boxcars. One particular place to see them was a place called Eberly Lumber in Mechanicsburg Pa on the PRR/PC Line thru the Cumberland Valley to Hagerstown Md. They would get car here and there wfrom NdeM and also from the PNW Roads, SPS in particular. rare yes, but not that one would not see one. Ben



Date: 04/07/21 16:03
Re: Mexican freight cars in the US pre-NAFTA
Author: tomcough

Back in the late ‘60s, I spied an N de M boxcar sitting in the New Haven’s East Walpole, MA yard outside of Boston.

Tom Coughlin
Stow, MA.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 04/07/21 17:05
Re: Mexican freight cars in the US pre-NAFTA
Author: tomstp

In the 1950's-1970's I saw some NdM box cars and gondolas on the T&P.  Not many, just a few in a year.



Date: 04/07/21 17:40
Re: Mexican freight cars in the US pre-NAFTA
Author: PFE_COI

Here's three samples from the 1973 - 1981 time period:

1.  FCP 16579      31 December 1973    City of Industry, CA
2.  FUS 1980          3 October 1981        Colton, CA
3.  NDM 104217   12 October 1977        Anahiem, CA

How that helps...
Ron








Date: 04/07/21 17:57
Re: Mexican freight cars in the US pre-NAFTA
Author: rbx551985

Throughout the late 1960s and early-to-mid 1970s at least, there were almost always 50-ft. NDM boxcars being unloaded on a short Team Track at Lightfoot, Va. (a few miles west of Williamsburg, Va.) which were bringing various types of Mexican POTTERY to the old Williamsburg Pottery Factory.  This was a C&O/Chessie rail line, now run by CSXT.  We'd see at least 2 to 4 cars there every month.  They've long since gone away, since the Pottery was severely downsized and largely closed after its original owner passed.  For a time, it was so busy that Amtrak made Flag Stops there:  east bound in the morning, then west bound to pick up those morning drop-offs.



Date: 04/07/21 18:38
Re: Mexican freight cars in the US pre-NAFTA
Author: chrisbutts

In the early-mid 1980s there was a Corona beer distributor in Irvine CA - Montezuma Beer, IIRC - that received loads of beer in NdeM boxcars.   Most of the loads were interchanged by the SP to ATSF in Santa Ana (reciprocal switching agreement of some sorts in the Irvine industrial park, I believe).   It did not take long for the locals to discover that these NdeM box cars were loaded with Corona...



Date: 04/07/21 19:46
Re: Mexican freight cars in the US pre-NAFTA
Author: P

PFE_COI Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Here's three samples from the 1973 - 1981 time
> period:
>
> 1.  FCP 16579      31 December 1973    City
> of Industry, CA
> 2.  FUS 1980          3 October 1981     
>   Colton, CA
> 3.  NDM 104217   12 October 1977       
> Anahiem, CA
>
> How that helps...
> Ron

Fantastic photos!  I have to say that it was extremely rare for me to see them in the Ohio valley in the 80s.  Still pretty rare today honestly, but I do see them on the NS Dayton district somewhat regularly



Date: 04/07/21 20:25
Re: Mexican freight cars in the US pre-NAFTA
Author: krm152

From June 1972 throiugh January 1977, I lived in Winston Salem NC.
During this time, I observed that Hanes Knitting plant regularly received NdeM boxcars.
Unfortunately, I did not take any photos.
ALLEN



Date: 04/07/21 21:16
Re: Mexican freight cars in the US pre-NAFTA
Author: mns019

The Mexican railroads always tried whenever possible to load US/CDN  traffic in  US/CDN empties returning north.



Date: 04/08/21 07:37
Re: Mexican freight cars in the US pre-NAFTA
Author: fr8kar

Thanks everyone for all the replies and especially for the photos. I'll keep looking for those colorful boxcars.

Ryan Harris
NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX
Ryan's Photo Gallery



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