Tag Archives: Mexico

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.

Tracking the LIght Views Cuauatemoc!

Mexican Sailing Ship Docks in the Liffey.

This was my second encounter with Cuauatemoc.

No, no, not the legendary Aztec Emperor! He’s been gone for centuries. (Although back in ’79 I explored a pyramid near Mexico City. . . .)

Im’ referring to the majestic  Mexican sailing ship that bears his name, which has docked in the River Liffey at Dublin’s Sir John Rogerson’s Quay.

Yesterday I met fellow photographer Mark Healy for a photographic journey in the Dublin Docklands. This tall ship was our focus.

Seven years ago I photographed the ship on a previous visit.

When we arrived the Irish President, Michael D. Higgins was on deck, speechifying (in Irish, I think?). The sailors stood a attention.

It was as close I’ve had to a political encounter in a fair while.

Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.

Tracking the Light Post Every Day!

Old Station at Santa Fe, Mexico.

Lots of people of have made photos at the station in Santa Fe, NewMexico.

I made this one from the window of the train at Santa Fe, Mexico, 200 km south of Mexico City.

Forty years ago, my uncle Mark and I were on an adventure. My old Leica 3A was loaded with Kodachrome and with it I made a scant few interesting images of the Mexican railways, of which this is one.

Tracking the Light posts daily.

A Taste of Mexico on New Years Eve.

New Years Eve 2016, I was traveling with Pat Yough. We got news of a GE-built ES44AC Ferromex locomotive leading Norfolk Southern 39G (Camden, NJ to Allentown, PA) and so we went to investigate.

I made these photographs at HATCH in Pennsauken, New Jersey using my FujiFilm X-T1.

Not only were we rewarded with a Mexican locomotive in the lead, but also a rare opportunity to catch a caboose on a road freight. Not bad for the last day of 2016!

For me New Years Eve has another Mexican connection; on this day in 1979 I flew from Mexico City to New York’s Kennedy Airport on an Eastern Airlines L1011.

Things were more relaxed in those days, and I was afforded a nice forward view for part of my journey.

Ferromex 4679 leads Norfolk Southern symbol freight 39G at ‘Hatch’ in Pennsauken, New Jersey. Those are  the tracks for NJ Transit’s River Line light rail on the left. I adjusted the file in post processing to lower the contrast and improve the color.

It’s relatively rare to find a Mexican locomotive leading in New Jersey. First time I saw something like this anyway. Exposed using my FujiFilm X-T1.

Exposed using my FujiFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm zoom lens.

The caboose was a nice touch. NS 39G took this  only  as far as Abrahms Yard (near Norristown, PA).

Exposed using my FujiFilm X-T1.

In NORAC rules a red-over-yellow aspect means Medium Approach Medium, I don’t have a rule book for NJ Transit’s Light Rail. Any clues?

Tracking the Light Posts Daily

Frisco Gon in the National Railways of Mexico Yards

Cuernavaca, Mexico, December 1979

On Christmas morning 1979, I’d flown on a Eastern Airlines Lockeed L1011 from Kennedy Airport to Mexico City. There my uncle Mark met me for a week of travels.

Several days later we were staying in Cuernavaca. We walked from our hotel to the railway station in Cuernavaca, where for the price of about two pesos each, we bought tickets to ride the train to Iguala through the Rio Balsas valley.

At that time the passenger service only ran about once a week.

Exposed on black & white film with a Leica 3A with 50mm Summitar lens.
Exposed on black & white film with a Leica 3A with 50mm Summitar lens.

I made this view of a Frisco 50 foot gondola in the National Railways of Mexico yards near the station. At the time the old Frisco was about to be merged with Burlington Northern. I wonder if this car ever made it back to the United States?

The train ride was one of the most memorable events of my trip. Most of my photos from the train were exposed on Kodachrome film. I only made a few photos of the train itself, as it carried a intimidating armed guard in every car.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light!