El Obispado Y El TFM – 14 July 2004

by Jim on 2014/07/14

[Jimbaux knows that the spiral never ends.]

The afternoon of Wednesday 14 July 2004 was a very photographically productive and personally memorable one.  A paisano and I went to visit a major historical site of international importance in Monterrey, and then I got some of my better train pictures from that summer.  So, this relatively long post with 18 pictures has two basic parts; the first is the visit to El Obispado, a really neat place, and the second is my late-afternoon railroad action on the northern fringes of the Monterrey area.

The day before, three guys and I went to Saltillo, my first time visiting that really neat place.  I attempted to buy a classical guitar made in Michoacan, but my credit card was not accepted.

The day before that – Monday 12 July 2004 – I took my final exam for my Spanish class.  I made an 82 on it.  I guess that I could have done better, but, although I did do some studying at night and on weekends, I was, as you have seen, concerned with experiencing a great many other things while I could do so; also, since I wasn’t part of some degree program like many of the students in the international program were, I did not have the academic incentive (i.e., I wasn’t worried about my overall college GPA) to get the best grades that I possibly could.

Before we see pictures of our July 14 visit to El Obispado and some trains thereafter on the TFM, we will see a few pictures of the street where I lived.

Knowing that I would be leaving in a few days and repatriating to the United States of America, I wanted to get some shots of the street.  It is hard to see how steep this street is, but consider that the houses in the far distance on top of the hill are at about the same elevation as am I.  Note, too, the plane of that carport at left as compared to the street.

Also, you can compare these pictures to the view in the opposite direction up the street, as I did a few weeks before.

El Obispado

I was on my way to campus, apparently to pick up the Ray of Beast so that we could go to El Obispado.  The Ray of Beast was one of those friends whom I made at ITESM whom I really wish that I could have gotten to know better.  He is one of the people whom I obliquely mentioned when I said that none of my “friends” were also going on the Zacatecas trip.

Built like a fortress on a hill west of the oldest part of Monterrey, the Obispado is a bishop’s palace built in 1787.

The Obispado was besieged by the Americans in 1846 and by the French in 1864 (while the Americans were preoccupied with fighting against each other at home.)  That we came here on Bastille Day is a coincidence that I probably am only realizing as I type this story!  Various factions during the Mexican Revolution also laid siege to the Obispado.

And here is the Ray of Beast posing in front of the main palace.

He is from the area of Syracuse, New York.

I really love this view from the palace southeastward toward Cerro de la Silla.

Our campus is off in the far distance just to the right of the cluster of tall buildings.  My neighborhood, again, was on the slope of the mountain in the distance.  I love Monterrey.

I love, also, this particular view, one of my favorite of all of my Mexico experiences.

Isn’t that neat?  And check out the writing on those plants!  What kinds of plants are those anyway?

We had a good visit to the Obispado, and then we returned to campus.  Five years to the day later, I was again in another country again visiting a centuries-old religious structure.

TFM at Salinas-Victoria

After the Obispado visit and bringing the Ray of Beast back to campus, it was time to head out to the tracks!  Actually, I almost certainly either went home for a little while or went to the computer lab first, judging by nothing else than the differences in lighting between the set of pictures above at Obispado and the set of pictures below by the tracks north of town.  This would be the first time I go trackside since my little incident with the security authorities six days before; y’all read that story, didn’t you?

I ended up at what was becoming my go-to afternoon location for trains: the TFM intermodal facility at Salinas-Victoria, which is several miles north of Monterrey just past the outer fringes of the urban-suburban areas.  I was greeted with a real treat: that ballast train that you saw a week before, this time with a good view of its high-nosed GP38 still in FNM two-tone blue!

Here is the train shoving (moving right-to-left in the picture) back into the yard.

That was neat, but this was even neater, this old ballast hopper car that still had the NdeM logo on the side!

Neater sill are these next two shots, this next one with the KCS-like red “TFM” on the side of this locomotive right behind the Spanish “CRUCE DE FERROCARRIL” crossbuck sign.

Isn’t that neat?  So, too, was this.

None of the locomotives that are on KCSM property today retain the high-noses.  I’m glad that I got these images.

The TFM 1145 was one of only two high-nosed TFM locomotives that I ever photographed, the other being the TFM 1107 that I photographed when I returned in December 2006.

By sometime between the beginning of 2007 and the end of 2009 (but probably earlier than that), all of the remaining high-nose locomotives on what was by then the KCSM roster received chopped noses.  As recently as 2010, Ferromex still had some high-nose locomotives in FNM two-tone blue paint.

Here we see some nice horses in front of the intermodal facility.

The Salinas-Victoria intermodal facility serves the greater Monterrey area.

I like the white horse.

Finally, just as the last rays of daylight are shining upon the track, we get another moving train, this one led by a TFM SD70MAC, the model of locomotive that really eluded me in all of my times in Mexico.

That’s all for the first day of the five-day grand finale of Jimbaux’s 2004 summer Mexico experience (the last day of which is actually in the United States), and I thank the Ray of Beast for coming to El Obispado with me.  Four years to the day later, I was outside of the USA again, this time visiting Sharon Butala’s ranch in southern Saskatchewan.

Stay tuned tomorrow for more!  Tomorrow, we don’t see any trains, but we do see what is perhaps the most spectacular natural wonder in the Monterrey area.


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Charlie Kilbourne July 14, 2014 at 06:59

Thanks, James, very enjoyable… high noses captures…so rare now.


2 John Shine July 17, 2014 at 08:51

Yes, a nice catch on the high nose engine:}


3 Angeline August 4, 2014 at 10:40

I like the white horse too, although the brown one is nice as well.


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