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MEXICO: Railroads

Alejo Ovañanos explains: "The RR's (Ferocarriles Nacionales de México) were privatized 4 years ago. With foreign investment allowed up to 49% ownership, they underwent a thorough modernization process. Please take a look at and, the sites of the two largest competing RR conglomerates in Mexico (the first one allied with Kansas City Southern Industries, the second Union Pacific)". Alejo has sent me also some charts on railroad and road freight, the best being one put out by the US Census Bureau for the whole of North America: It is significant that railroad freight totals declined steadily until private investment was allowed, but they still have not reached the old levels.

Paul Simon adds this: "Our N-S trunks like Kansas City Southern and Canafian National's Illinois Central Gulf lines are below capacity and could handle NAFTA traffic. (Yes, Canadian National owns several major US railroads, as does Canadian Pacific). US holding companies own lots of Canadian short lines, too. US firms are also busy running railroads and rail services in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Central America, Peru, and other places. Is it a good thing that the anti-globalization protesters don't read TRAINS????"

My comment: The antiglobalists would love to burn trains, but fortunately the violent ones don't read. They do great harm to the anti-globalization cause. Among the worst are the French peasants. They have been going around wrecking experimental plots. Hitherto the French police have just stood by an watched. Yesterday the French minister of the interior they would use force against the protesters, who do not realize that the experiments could help them. The FAO is due to hold and international meeting in Rome, but the government is thinking of moving it elsewhere to prevent damage to Rome's monuments.

The dogs bark, but the caravan passes. And the trains roll on.

Ronald Hilton - 9/2/01