Mexico City Streetcars—My Fleeting Glimpse.

December 30, 1979.

Forty years ago I had a fleeting glimpse of Mexico City’s streetcar system.

By the time of my December 1979 visit, all of the traditional streetcar lines in the downtown area were out of service. However, PCC cars remained in service on a pair of peripheral lines on the south-side of the city that connected at the end of a Metro Line.

I regret not having the opportunity to travel on the trolleys, but at least I got to see and photograph them.

This is one of my only color photos of Mexico City streetcars. I’d mounted the slide in glass, which didn’t do the emulsion any favors and resulted in unsightly moiré patterns (rainbow-like interferences). First I scanned the slide through the glass as seen here, then I very carefully removed the film from the glass and rescanned it. See below.
This is the same Kodachrome slide after removal from the glass mount. I cleaned the emulsion and rescanned the image. This scan is cleaner, sharper and largely free from the distracting artifacts caused by the glass, yet a few defects and stains remain. I’d go back and make the photo again, but I think the setting has likely changed in the last 40 years!

For me this sunset view of Mexico City street trackage is a symbolic photograph, and yet one that has haunted my imagination for decades. Technically speaking it is a poor photo; under exposed and the last frame on a roll of Kodachrome with the right side effectively cropped by the tape used during processing. I’ve cleaned up the slide a little for better presentation here.

Sometimes those scenes we only glimpse stick in our imagination more than those that we were immersed in. Do you remember that 1960s song recorded by Vashti Bunyan ‘Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind’?

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

3 thoughts on “Mexico City Streetcars—My Fleeting Glimpse.”

    1. I have not, but its a good thought if I ever mount slides in glass again.
      Unfortunately, I found that after 40 years the glass seems to have left the slide in rougher condition than I would have hoped, but that’s possibly because I didn’t mount them with sufficient care back in 1980.
      Brian Solomon

  1. The pictures you tend to recall are either the ones you didn’t take at all, because you missed the opportunity, or those where something were wrong with the result. That track picture might no show much, but it certainly says a lot.

    Michael Walsh

Comments are closed.