One of the most nostalgic places that could be visited in Oaxaca city is the antique train station: Ferrocarril Mexicano del Sur. A walk in the afternoon hours at this quiet place evokes vivid scenes of the past times when the train was the most important transportation service in the state. The old walls, rugged and brownish, of the supply warehouses and the main office, where tickets were sold, keep deeply inside images of a past that transport us to the nostalgic pleasure of traveling slowly with the track-trackety track sound of the train in movement.
Today the railroads, which snake north and south bounds, take us to imaginary portraits of the arrival and departure of noisy carriages and wagons which seem that would appear at any moment on the rail roads and people wearing old-fashioned clothing, hats and large trunks and speaking in different indigenous languages at the platforms and gates.
Nowadays the steel is rusty and useless. People walk through the station in order to get to their neighborhoods. The wagons, carriages and engines are permanently parked seeming to be patiently awaiting for the whistles and honks to begin another journey.
It's a place of history; this antique train station named Ferrocarril Mexicano del Sur, was opened by the former Mexican president Porfirio Diaz in 1892. Then, in 1950, it was redesigned with a wider railroad and it ran from the Lazaro Cardenas train station in Mexico city to the one in Oaxaca city. On October 12th 2003 the Ferrocarril Mexicano del Sur train station become a museum and displays amazing sepia colored photographs of workers constructing the railroad and picturesque photographs of bridges in black and white. There are also old clocks, gauges, tools, telegraphs, telephones, lanterns, and posters.
It is possible today to imagine the movement at the platform and departing gates; the starting engine and the whistles and honks calling the passengers to aboard, the joy of ones and the sadness of others waving their hands as a goodbye when the train started to move. The slowly movement of the iron horse that would cross the land, energetic and untamed, through tunnels, hills, creeks, and bridges in the journey to Mexico city. A journey of visual richness through plateaus, deserts, pine forests, and volcanoes. A journey of magic and nostalgia, the journey of the iron horse, stored in the memory of the fortunate who traveled by train in the early years of modern Oaxaca.
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