The photos of NdeM narrow-gauge 2-8-0 279 indexed below were sent to us by MEXLIST member Antonio Helguera of México, D. F.

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Antonio took these photos in 1983 at the station in Cuautla, Morelos, on the locomotive's first trip sponsored by the Club de Amigos del Ferrocarril. Antonio writes, "I was very young and lacked of a good camera and skills enough to make a profesional work. Nevertheless I think they could be displayed." Absolutely! The photos have been cropped here to show the locomotive at maximum size while still fitting on the screen.


This 36-inch-gauge locomotive was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, in 1921. The builder's number is 55110. Its original road number was 204. It was renumbered to 279 in 1930. The locomotive was sold to the Coahuila y Zacatecas in June of 1959 and retained the same number. In 1963, it returned to NdeM ownership and was repaired at Puebla in 1968. It belonged to NdeM class G-030. Thanks to David W. Braun and R. Todd Minsk for the locomotive's history.


The narrow-gauge line between Cuautla and Estación San Lázaro, on which 279 last served NdeM, closed in 1972 after the construction of a standard-gauge line on a different grade; but 279 continued to run excursions on a surviving 17-km section between Cuautla and Estación Yecapixtla. More recently, 279 has belonged to the Municipio de Cuautla and has run with two coaches on weekends for a very short distance. It was the last operating steam locomotive in Mexico. In August 2001, there was an incident in which 279 suffered a "broken piece." Its future is uncertain.

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