In 1952 NdeM ordered train sets form Schindler Waggon, A.G., Switzerland, consisting of sleepers with their own bathroom facilities, also Pullman-type sleepers, 1st class de Luxe and regular coaches, a diner and a round-end observation lounge car. By the '80s however Aguila Azteca was a mix of various cars without a diner, running from Nuevo Laredo to Mexico City. A better train, El Regiomontano, ran from from Monterrey to Mexico City and consisted of sleepers, a diner and an observation saloon car.
Train Numbers 21 & 22 - June 1, 1952
Miles - City
0 - San Antonio, TX
13 - Von Ormy, TX
23 - Lytle, TX
28 - Natalia, TX
33 - Devine, TX
42 - Moore, TX
54 - Pearsall, TX
63 - Derby, TX
70 - Dilley, TX
77 - Millett, TX
81 - Gardendale, TX
87 - Cotulla, TX
98 - Artesia Wells, TX
115 - Encinal, TX
154 - Laredo, TX
Train Number 2, 1 Continuing as Aguila Azteca (National Railways of Mexico)
156 - Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas
266 - Villaldama, Nuevo Leon
324 - Monterrey, Nuevo Leon
391 - Saltillo, Coahuila
512 - Vanegas, San Luis Potosi
633 - San Luis Potosi, San Luis Potosi
686 - San Felipe, Guanajuato
716 - Rio Laja, Guanajuato
742 - San Miguel Allende, Guanajuato
765 - Escobedo, Guanajuato
780 - Mariscala, Guanajuato
793 - Queretaro, Queretaro
860 - Huichapan, Hidalgo
958 - Mexico City, D.F.
TRAIN No. 21
San Antonio to Mexico City (10-Section, 1 Drawing-room, 2 Compartment) - Car No. 314
San Antonio to Mexico City (8-Section, 5 Double Bedroom)- Car No. 316
Dining Lounge (Missouri Pacific Car)—San Antonio to Mexico City.
Coaches—(Reclining Seats)—San Antonio to Laredo.
San Antonio to Mexico City. (Reserved Seats.)
TRAIN No. 22
Mexico City to San Antonio (10-Section, 1 Drawing-room, 2 Compartment) - Car No. 326
Mexico City to San Antonio (8-Section, 5 Double Bedroom) - Car No. 321
Dining Lounge (Missouri Pacific Car)—Mexico City to San Antonio.
Coaches—(Reclining Seats)—Mexico City to San Antonio. (Reserved Seats.)
Laredo to San Antonio.
ST. LOUIS - MEXICO CITY
MISSOURI PACIFIC-NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Through Air-Conditioned Trains—
EQUIPMENT—Through Pullman Sleepers, 10-Section, 2 Compartments, 1 Drawing-room and 8-Section, 5 Double Bedroom—also A.C. Reclining Chair Cars and Dining Lounge Cars on Trains 1 and 2 between San Antonio and Mexico City, connecting at San Antonio with the Texas Eagle of the Missouri Pacific.
ST. LOUIS, Mo., SAN ANTONIO, TEX., LAREDO, MONTERREY AND MEXICO CITY.
Trains 1 and 2, Through Air-Conditioned Sleepers, 10-Section, 1 Drawing-room, 2 Compartment and 8-Section, 5 Double Bedroom—also A.C. Reclining Chair Cars and Dining Lounge Cars between San Antonio, Tex., and Mexico City. Connecting at San Antonio with The Texas Eagle of the Missouri Pacific.
CP7 road switcher San Antonio - Laredo
1 van GM & O, once weekly (red)
2 coaches San Antonio - Laredo
1 reclining-chair coach San Antonio - Mexico
1 dining-car San Antonio - Mexico
1 Pullman sleeper (8 sections, 5 bedrooms) " " San Antonio - Mexico
1 Pullman sleeper (10 sections, 1 drawing, 2 comp.) St. Louis - Mexico.
Cars and diesels by Mopac, blue/gray with a yellow stripe, Baldwin switcher by Mopac at Laredo, 0-6-0 steam switcher by NdeM at Nuevo Laredo.
FP7 two-unit EMD NdeM Nuevo Laredo - Mexico
1 mail (box car) NdeM Nuevo Laredo - Mexico
2 vans NdeM Nuevo Laredo - Mexico
2 2nd class NdeM Nuevo Laredo - Mexico
1 1st class NdeM Nuevo Laredo - Mexico
1 reclining-chair coach Mopac San Antonio - Mexico
1 dining-car Mopac San Antonio - Mexico
1 Pullman sleeper Mopac San Antonio - Mexico
1 Pullman sleeper Mopac St. Louis - Mexico
Colors: FP 7 dark-green, mail black, NdeM 1st class orange with a brown stripe.
After NdeM ordered new luxury cars from Schindler for the Aguila Azteca, the Oct. 29, 1952 issue of the Swiss magazine Neue Zuercher Zeitung described the new de-Luxe consist as follows:
Two-unit General Motors/EMD diesel
1 mail van
1-2 1st class cars, 84 seats
1-2 1st class de-Luxe cars, 56 seats
1 dining-car, 44+8 seats
2 sleeping-cars, central corridor, 38 seats/22 berths
1 sleeping-car, side corridor, 20 berths
1 round-end observation car with 56 seats
Colors: dark-red/cream/gray roof
Missouri Pacific 295 with Train 21, the Aztec Eagle in the San Antonio, Texas station, September 6, 1966. Photo by Roger Puta.
The Aztec Eagle - Aguila Azteca
The Aztec Eagle was the principal rail passenger connection between the major U.S. cities and Mexico in the 1950s. The Missouri Pacific's Texas Eagle connected most of Texas's major cities with St. Louis and Memphis, and continuing service was available to Mexico City via the Aztec Eagle while through cars were available in the other direction via the Pennsylvania Railroad to New York and Washington, DC. The Aztec Eagle connected with the Texas Eagle at San Antonio. The MP trains often featured "Planetarium" dome coaches, which was Missouri Pacific's marketing term for what other railroads called the Vista-Dome. In 1952, one could travel comfortably by train from New York City to Mexico City. The most luxurious train in Mexico was the Aguila Azteca, the traditional connection with the United States and the Missouri Pacific's beautiful Eagles.
L.H. Westcott described the Aguila Azteca in a report published by Trains & Travel in 1953: "It was almost dark when the train, now called Aguila (eagle in Spanish), pulled out (of Nuevo Laredo) and around a broad curve to the west. The locomotive was a two-unit EMD FP-7 painted dark green with dusty coral lettering NACIONALES DE MEXICO. Behind (the vans) came two drab second-class coaches packed to the vestibules with Indians - men with long-sleeved white shirts and broad hats and women in long flowing skirts… the first class car was orange with a brown stripe, a fairly new semi-streamlined car. Its interior was clean, comfortable, but not luxurious. Then came the Mopac cars in their blue dress - followed by two dark-green Mexican sleepers. As dusk came, one of the customs officers set up a little office in the lounge end of the dining car and interviewed each international passenger.…After we had our breakfast in the dining car the next morning we found ourselves south of Saltillo in a desert which reminded me of the broad valleys of Nevada…The dining-car steward was an Austrian who spoke many languages and carried into his profession all the dignity of the many pretentious hotels where he had worked … We arrived in Mexico City on time at 8 p.m. and taxied to the hotel. We chose the Hotel Ritz….".I
Classic Streamliners - TRAINCYCLOPEDIA
The Alco FPA-2's NdeM livery for the "Aguila Azteca" was Pullman Green with a red stripe, and orange nose decor with red pinstriping.
An Aguila Azteca Slideshow. Color Photos by Roger Puta.
Text: wikipedia.org. Images: Public Domain; http://www.commons.wikimedia.org (unless otherwise specified) and 17 U.S. Code § 107 fair use. References: Lewis, Robert G. The Handbook of American Railroads. New York: Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation, 1951, 2nd Edition 1956. Site Map Contact webmaster HERE.
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