The Durango-Mazatlán train is now a reality

2907

The cost of the project, which includes the construction of the Puerto de Altura in Mazatlán and the train, is estimated at 4.2 billion dollars

Today, the continuity of Durango as part of the Northern Economic Corridor is possible and the railway to Mazatlán stands out for its importance, given that there is already physical infrastructure and the right of way that will allow rapid progress in an integral project estimated at 4.2 billion euros. dollars, which goes hand in hand with the construction of the Port of Alto Calado in the neighboring state of Sinaloa, was pointed out this morning by the state governor, José Rosas Aispuro Torres.

Questioned in this regard during a press conference held at the Bicentennial Convention Center (CCB), where the change of directive of the National Chamber of the Transformation Industry (Canacintra) was carried out, the state president recognized the series of projects in which the entity is immersed and seek to give continuity to its development. With an express question about the Durango to Mazatlán railway, Aispuro Torres recognized not only its feasibility but the importance it has for the economic corridor if one takes into account that Mazatlán is already making progress in the construction of the high-altitude port. Before concluding the head of the state Executive, he pointed out that both entities work hand in hand in joint works because in this case a deep-draft port is not conceived without a railway line that connects and takes goods through the aforementioned economic corridor.

May be an image of mountain, nature, sky and tree

With an express question about the Durango to Mazatlán railway, Aispuro Torres recognized not only its feasibility, but the importance it has for the economic corridor if one takes into account that Mazatlán is already making progress in the construction of the high-altitude port.

The governor praised the benefits that the state has to make this train possible, since there are lines drawn and the right of way corresponds to Durango; which means an important advance of this mega project whose global cost, including the construction of the Port of Alto Calado, is higher than four billion dollars.

Before concluding the head of the state Executive, he pointed out that both entities work hand in hand in joint works, because in this case a deep-draft port is not conceived without a railway line that connects and takes goods through the aforementioned economic corridor.

It should be remembered that this project dates from 1900, as stipulated by the Mexican Transportation Institute, in a document made in 2006, in which the sections and routes that it will comprise are established, as well as the lines that are already built, They depart from the municipality of Durango to Llano Grande and Llano Grande – El Salto.

Tendrá Mazatlán área multimodal para contenedores en Durango - Noticias  Locales, Policiacas, sobre México y el Mundo | El Sol de Mazatlán | Sinaloa

The Durango-Mazatlán Railroad project has been considered from its conception, at the beginning of the 20th century, as the largest infrastructure work in the country and with the largest investment in its time, a project through which it was intended to unite a corridor of the Ocean Pacific with the Gulf of Mexico, which would make the development of transit throughout the northeast of the country feasible, however, this end has not been achieved.

This article aims to show a current overview of the existing infrastructure of the Durango-Mazatlán Railroad, which is a reflection of the investment made in the interrupted construction of the road.

Historical background

The conception of the Durango-Mazatlán railway line project dates back to 1900, where Engineers Andros & Carrol studied the initial location of the road project, resulting in the first line with a length of 391 km in 1906. The particularity of the The project consisted of following the dividing line of the Baluarte and Presidio rivers.

The company Ferrocarriles Nacionales delayed a large part of this line in 1912, 1918, 1920 and 1922, constantly seeking to improve it, and it is in this period when the first two sections are built: Durango-Llano Grande and Llano Grande-El Salto, the which began their operation in 1918 and December 1922 respectively.

Later in 1948 in the presidential period of Lic. Miguel Alemán Valdez, the General Directorate of Railroad Construction of the Ministry of Communications and Public Works (SCOP) was entrusted with the study and project of the rest of the Durango-Mazatlán Railroad. As a result, two routes are evaluated mainly, the so-called “Presidio” and the “Tunnel”, with their respective alternatives in their route. The most viable line in the economic study reported in 1951 turns out to be the “Tunnel” route with a cost of 173 million pesos at that time, a difference in favor of 12.2 million pesos and a total length of 360.7 km, a difference in favor of 2.8 km. However, some technical adjustments were made to this selected project, reducing the estimated cost of construction even more.

Table 1

Comparison between Projected Routes

CONCEPTPresidio RouteTunnel Route
Distance from Durango to Mazatlán363,5 Km360,66 Km
Governor slopetwo%two%
Degree of curvature8th8th
Source: Economic Study of the Durango – Mazatlán Line of the General Directorate of Railroad Construction, of the SCOP. Department of Studies and Projects, 1951. Page 142

Figure 1

Historical map of the projected routes Durango – Mazatlán

The final project of the Durango-Mazatlán FFCC considers the 135 km built of Durango-El Salto plus 5 km in advance, so it was required to build 222 km of the rest of the project, which includes the work concepts shown in Table 2 .

Table 2

Estimated work volumes in 1951 for the Durango – Mazatlán Railroad

CONCEPTAMOUNT
Terracerías (rock for the most part)7 million m 3
Tunnels19 km
Viaducts and Bridges1,600 mts
Masonry (culverts and supporting walls)28 thousand m 3
Concrete Pipe12,000 meters
Source: Prepared by the authors with data from the Economic Study of the Durango – Mazatlán Line of the General Directorate of Railroad Construction, of the SCOP. Department of Studies and Projects, 1951

In the SCOP Report of 1953-1954, an investment of 38.6 million pesos was reported in the construction of the line, and the definitive location of the line in August 1954. Tunnel number 1 was completed with a length of 354 mts., the attack of 8 more tunnels was continued and 13 culverts were built, as well as the placement of 50 m of superstructure on the “Agua Fría” bridge.

The SCOP Report for 1954-1955 reports the work on the attack section from kilometer 140 + 000 to 203 + 000 with an investment of 21.3 million pesos from August 1954 to August 1955 and shows the progress of the construction of 13 tunnels, dirt roads, and conservation of the existing road. Documents from the General Archive of the Nation during the presidential term of Lic. Adolfo Ruiz Cortines shows that for September and October 1955 the budget for the construction of the line had been withdrawn. The General Directorate of Railroad Construction argued that changes were being made to the layout to reduce the high costs of construction.

The project under construction is recognized by Eng. Francisco M. Togno and he himself presented a second alternative for analysis by moving the line to the south, towards the Presidio Station of the Pacific Railroad, achieving a total length of approximately 342 kilometers.

In 1956 the attack front was changed to the lower part of Sinaloa, building from Villa Unión to Concordia, as shown in the report by Ing. Guillermo Mancilla.

The Ministry of Public Works, in 1962, recommended as a necessary investment to conserve the dirt roads with a length of 55.2 km originating in El Salto towards the West and 9.6 km originating in Villa Unión towards the East.

Finally, the works were stopped, leaving the most difficult sections of the Durango-Mazatlán highway unbuilt, which have complicated topographic, geological and rainfall characteristics and whose engineering work is highly expensive.

Project description

The Durango-Mazatlán FFCC project is one of the most important engineering works in the country, mainly due to the physiographic obstacles to overcome, specifically the Sierra Madre Occidental, in the area known as “El Espinazo del Diablo”.

This rugged mountainous topography is not impossible to beat but due to the technical operating conditions of the trains, they are highly expensive projects.

Source: Digital Map of Mexico 2004. National Institute of Statistics, Geography and Informatics

Figure 2

Relief of the Durango – Mazatlán Railroad Line

The area has a rich diversity in terms of land use. In agriculture it is characterized by the production of corn, wheat, cotton, oilseeds, tomato, rice, sugar cane, beans, potatoes, tobacco, oranges and grapes, among others. The forests are made up of pines, ocotes, oaks, oyamel, oaks, domes, and mainly conifers, as well as grassland areas.

Regarding the type of soil, we can say that cambisol, lithosol, regosol and fluvisol predominate.

The predominant climates are warm subhumid, temperate subhumid and semi-cold subhumid.

Livestock is part of the economy of the area with cattle in grassland areas, pigs in cereal areas, in addition to mainly sheep, donkey and mule cattle. Poultry farming is also an important part of the area’s resources.

The commercial movement is undoubtedly one of the most important branches for the potential development of the area, transferring the inputs and products of the textile, manufacturing, food industry, the wood industry and its exploitation of the forest wealth, the extractive industry and mining.

Important mention should be made of the tourist, ecotourism and fishing activities that take place in the area, since this is one of the existing strengths in the railway project.

Current state of the infrastructure

Through field visits, the state of the existing infrastructure and the works that have been carried out on the Durango-Mazatlán railway line were reviewed and documented.

The section begins in Durango and ends at 135 + 000 in the town of El Salto (Aserraderos) (See Figure 3). This section is fully built, but due to the abandonment of the train service it has suffered considerable deterioration in the superstructure and the loss in some areas of the right of way in the town of Llano Grande and in El Salto; In this last point, the right of way has been converted into urban roads and the terminal has been destined for other uses.


Source: Own elaboration based on the Atlas of the State of Durango of the Ministry of Communications and Transportation, November 2004

Figure 3

Durango – El Salto de la Línea del FFCC Durango – Mazatlán section

The state of the substructure built on the rest of the line is considered out of any critical situation since it only presents some deficiencies.

The embankments are made up of longitudinal offsets with a crown width of approximately 5.0 m, with estimated slopes of 0.75: 1.0, which requires the construction of dry walls on the slopes to confine the crown and prevent erosion. Some are damaged and with growth of vegetation and trees on the crown.

The cuts reach heights greater than 20.0 m with practically vertical slopes that present some problems of instability and longitudinal drainage.

The transversal drainage in the constructed section is in good condition and with sufficient hydraulic area, but it is convenient to review the costs of the tributaries to technically ensure their optimal operation.

The major infrastructure, such as the structural steel Bridge in the Rio Chico and the existing tunnels, are considered in good condition, but it is advisable to carry out structural and useful life reviews to guarantee the safe passage of the trains, as well as to solve the infiltration problems. and drainage in tunnels.

The branch from La Purísima to El Regocijo was not inspected as it was considered outside the project.

The current use of dirt roads is as a way for the extraction of forest products.

Source: Field visit of the Mexican Institute of Transportation, November 2005

Figure 4

View of the Embankment in the Section El Salto – Mil Diez

In the section 140 + 400 to 159 + 000 is the crossing of the railway line with the Durango-Mazatlán federal highway, so the necessary infrastructure must be built to do so on two levels.

Source: Field work of the Mexican Institute of Transportation, November 2005

Figure 5

View of Cortés of the Durango – Mazatlán FFCC

The construction of the railway works reaches approximately kilometer 191 + 000, where the construction progress of the substructure is considered optimal. In this area there are places of tourist attraction.

Source: Own elaboration based on the Memories of the Ministry of Communications and Public Works, 1953-1954

Figure 6

Type section of the Durango – Mazatlan railroad tunnels

In figure 7 you can see views of tunnels.

Source: Field visit of the Mexican Institute of Transportation, November 2005

Figure 7

Tunnel views

Job estimation

The Durango-Mazatlán FFCC project has been divided into sections to make it easier to estimate the works necessary for the rehabilitation and construction of the line.

The infrastructure of the project is mainly divided into two parts: Substructure and Superstructure.

Sections of the road for construction

The sections were divided according to the mileage specified in Table 5, according to the SCOP Construction Program, associating the name of the closest locality.

Table 3

Sections of the FFCC Durango – Mazatlán

SECTIONMILEAGE
Durango – El Salto0 + 000 to 140 + 000
El Salto – The City140 + 000 to 195 + 000
The City – Revolcaderos195 + 000 to 220 + 000
Revolcaderos – El Palmito220 + 000 to 241 + 000
El Palmito – The Dam241 + 000 to 270 + 000
The Dam – Los Naranjos270 + 000 to 297 + 000
Los Naranjos – Concordia297 + 000 to 318 + 000
Concordia – Pacific Railroad Junction (Villa Unión)318 + 000 to 340 + 650
Source: Prepared by the authors with data from the Economic Study of the Durango – Mazatlán Line of the General Directorate of Railroad Construction, of the SCOP. Department of Studies and Projects, 1951

Infrastructure jobs and execution times

Table 4

Works and execution time of the FFCC Durango – Mazatlán

Source: self made

Conclusions and recommendations

In the present work, a constructive historical panorama of the Durango – Mazatlán railway line was shown, which reflects the interest from the economic and social point of view of different governments to promote development in that area of ​​the country.

Technically it has been divided into three major phases that will allow the conclusion of the project, in order to achieve financial profitability for its operation and maintenance.

It is expected that this technical document in its integral version will serve for the most pertinent decision-making and future actions to embark on an interesting path in the country’s railway development.

*   Bibliography

General Archive of the Nation. “Historical Documents since 1910” . Information collected by: Mendoza Sánchez, Juan Fernando; Centeno Saad, Agustín Gerardo. México, DF December 2005.

National Railways of Mexico. “Durango-Mazatlán Railway Line” . Mexico, DF June 1992.

National Museum of Mexican Railways, Railway Documentation and Research Center. “Plans and documents” . Information collected by: Mendoza Sánchez, Juan Fernando; Centeno Saad, Agustín Gerardo. Puebla, Pue. December 2005.

FERRONALES Magazine. Article ” FC DURANGO-MAZATLÁN” , Page 7. México, DF August 1951.

Secretariat of Communications and Public Works. Directorate General for Railroad Construction. Department of Studies and Projects. “Economic study of the Durango – Mazatlán Line” . Mexico, DF 1951.

Secretariat of Communications and Public Works. “Memory of 1953-1954” . Mexico, DF 1954.

Secretariat of Communications and Public Works. “Memory of 1954-19554” . Mexico, DF 1955.

Secretariat of Communications and Public Works. Information and Propaganda SCOP. Triptych “Railroad Durango – Mazatlán” . Mexico, DF 1951.

Ministry of Communications and Transportation. Planning Directorate. “Compilation and Analysis of Background and Updated Feasibility Study of the Durango – Mazatlán Railway Project “. Mexico City, November 1988.

Secretariat of Public Works. General Directorate of Projects and Laboratories. Land Roads Department. “Preliminary Draft of the Durango – Mazatlán Railway Line” . Mexico, DF October 1971.

Téllez Gutiérrez, Rodolfo; Torras Ortiz, Sandra. “Estimated cost of infrastructure of the new Durango-Mazatlán Freight Railroad” , Mexican Institute of Transportation. Sanfandila, Querétaro. May 2005.

Téllez Gutiérrez, Rodolfo; Torras Ortiz, Sandra. “Environmental Feasibility Study and Costing of Transportation Infrastructure in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec Region Coatzacoalcos-Salinas Cruz Trans-isthmian Corridor”, Mexican Institute of Transportation. Sanfandila, Querétaro. March 2002.

Source: imt.mx, elsoldedurango.com.mx

The Durango Post