Railways in Mexico: Something to choo-choo over

THE depot of Kansas City Southern de México (KCSM) in Nuevo Laredo, on the border with Texas, is something to behold. Red, yellow and black locomotives pull in trains that stretch back more than a mile. They carry grain and scrap metal from the United States. Heading north are cargoes of car chassis, and long lines of containers. Watching the trains hurtle across the flat, scrubby terrain is awe-inspiring. They are proof of Mexico’s burgeoning commerce with America. But this is bandit country—one of the most violent stretches of the border—giving the scene an Old West aura.The performance of KCSM, and the other half of Mexico’s freight-rail duopoly, Ferromex, has been awe-inspiring too. When Mexico started to privatise its freight lines in 1995 (it had given up on passenger trains, though there are now plans to reintroduce them), they were slow, rickety subsidy-burners, costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Since then the amount of cargo has almost doubled, and the share of land freight carried by rail, as opposed to road, has risen from 19% to 25%.

Average tariffs are slightly higher than in the United States and Canada, which…

Link to article: www.economist.com/news/business/21599010-attempt-boost-competition-freight-rail-needs-rethink-something-choo-choo-over?fsrc=rss|bus

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