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The beach in Veracruz that formed the eastern boundary of the mining property I was looking at. Good place to have lunch.
In 1998 I spent a couple of weeks working in Veracruz, Mexico kicking tires on an exploration property. It was early days for the property as no one had found anything but a couple of boulders with gold along the highway. It turned out there was something in the high mountains to the west, but to this day the property is not active due to political issues. I actually revisited the property in 2010 for another company, so it was pretty cool to see what actually was there. Memories include daily lunch on the beach as the Caribbean was the eastern boundary of the property, taking rock samples from a road cut with semis and buses passing by at speed just feet away - and coming one day to find a truck had crashed into the roadcut where I was working the day prior! As well there was a nuclear power plant on the coast north of the property. All in all it was an interesting spot.There were tons of killer bees in the area, and I got chased out of an area by a swarm. One south facing slope had several hives in the ground so I had to pick my way through the area trying not to disturb them. Who said geological field work was dull?There was also a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico at the time so several days were spent in Veracruz waiting out torrential rain storms. During breaks in the weather I swung by the railway into the Port of Veracruz to see what was running into the port. I also stopped on my way back from the property - rule of thumb was get off the highway at night, too much potential for accidents. The railway into the port was pretty busy, often with plenty of switching and freights running into the yard there. It was dominated by GE locomotives when I was there, all FNM paint although there was one still in the NdeM paint scheme. All freights still had cabooses on them, the designs reminded me of Union Pacific cabooses. I'm not sure I'd be standing on a bridge over a railway line in Veracruz these days, the security situation has deteriorated greatly. When I was there in 1998 there was a police checkpoint on the highway with a couple of guys sitting on lawn chairs. When I was there in 2010 there was a military checkpoint at the same spot with armoured cars, machine guns and what looked like a platoon of soldiers. Apparently it is even worse today. The FNM into the Port of Veracruz was a busy place. The scrap loads were headed to points west with a rider on one load. It must have been uncomfortable to ride on a load of scrap.
Inbound freight with 3 GE dash 7 locomotives.
B23-7 were the main units used to switch the port facilities when I was there.
This was a westbound way freight, pretty much what you would expect to see trundling down the line.
The FNM cabooses were mostly this type which reminds me of UP caboose designs
N de M had a large number of cylindrical hoppers which were very similar to Canadian designs.
There were occasional wide vision cabooses as well.
Switcher and caboose meeting in front of me.
This article first appeared on ageologistchasingtrains.blogspot.com
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