Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Train of Death

While photographing an abandoned train station I stumbled onto the the "train of death" in Mexico. The depot has been closed for many years and the old rusted locomotive engine sitting on a short piece of track next to the building was interesting. I heard a train coming and positioned myself to photograph it expecting it to pass the depot. Instead it stopped at this abandoned train station and sat idle on the tracks.  All was quiet as I stared at the motionless train. Suddenly I noticed some movement in an open car and I investigated who was there. As I climbed up the ladder and peered into the coal car I saw two extremely poor looking individuals staring back at me. They had intense fear in their eyes as they looked at me. I said, "Hola" and offered them my water and a couple of power bars I was carrying. They sheepishly accepted as I climbed in with them. I asked them in my poor Spanish if I could take their picture. They nodded in agreement and I climbed up the and positioned myself on the pile of material that was in the car. I asked where they were from and where they were going. The young one spoke some English and I was able to find out they were from Central America and were hoping to get to America. I took what Pesos I had in my pocket and gave it to them. In their eyes were the look that I have seen in a starved and abused animal. I shook their hands and said, "adios". I had never heard of the train of death at the time I took this photo. (later when working on the image I noticed the hand of the of guy on the left was pulled up in his sleeve, possibly hiding a weapon). It was only when I got back home a few months later that I saw this video about it. Open this link to watch video.
It is sad that the people of the world can't live with the basic human needs.  It is usually the corruption of governments that starve their own people. We who live in the U.S. are blessed and should be thankful for everyday we live in a land of abundance. We as a nation can not harbor all the needy of the world. We should protect our borders and demand that immigration is carried out in a lawful and orderly process.


  1. I watched the video...very sad for these people. I am sure that is where these men were our border.

  2. John, this is quite a good story and something that I never heard about before, The video is sad and sure gives one a lot to think about. You are lucky that you never saw what was in the man's hidden hand but I'm sure your generosity went a long way in you not seeing. Good story and excellent photo!

  3. Leo,
    Thanks for the comment about my photograph. The video really tells the story of how people struggle to have the lifestyle we quite often take for granted.