SANTA BARBARA, MEXICO (November 24/27, 1961)...President Adolfo Lopez Mateos, of Mexico and high government officials,?
SANTA BARBARA, MEXICO (November 24/27, 1961)...President Adolfo Lopez Mateos, of Mexico and high government officials, dedicate a 560-mile rail line at Santa Barbara, on the border of the Mexican states of Sinaloa and Chihuahua, thus completing a railroad linking the Texas town of Presidio on the Mexican border with Mexico's Pacific coast.
The new railroad, dreamed of since the turn of the century, crosses Mexico's Sierra Madre range, cutting through countryside hitherto remote and largely unexplored. It opens to commerce and to tourism some of the hemisphere's most spectacular scenery, including the 5,000-foot deep Barranca del Cobre (Copper Canyon).
Cutting through 72 tunnels, curving upward and downward around mountainsides, sometimes in near-complete circles, the railroad cost $91 million for the Chihuahua-Topolobampo section. The ride takes about 15 hours and will cost tourists $6.40 for a first-class fare. By early December, six freight-passenger trains will have begun daily operations over the route.
It is the first line in Mexico with the most modern rails. It has in several mountain stretches the new continuous rails bedded upon rubber plates. This method eliminates noise and also reduces equipment wear and tear.
It runs southwest from Ojinaga, Mexico, across the Rio Grande from Presidio, Texas, to the town of Topolobampo on the Gulf of California, a distance of 560 miles.
Thousands of Mexican workers, including the Tarahumara Indians of the region, laboured to complete the last 40-mile link in the railroad by November this year.
Now, passengers in Kansas City, for example, can go entirely by train to Mexico's Pacific Coast, a distance of 1660 miles.
By 1963, the railroad is expected to carry freight at the rate of 300 million tons annually. It is also expected to open the way for new mining enterprises and to make possible the shipment of fresh fruits, vegetables, and sugar from Mexico's lush Pacific coastal areas to the more arid inland regions of the country's north.