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Think Globally, Act Locally

By David Stea

“We are accustomed to saying ‘Think globally, act locally.’” Nowhere is this truer, than with regard to our local railway line—the Kansas City Southern de Mexico which links the US Midwest with the Mexican port of Lazaro Cardenas, Michoacan.

Occupy San Miguel presents: “
Think Globally, Act Locally”
Dr. David Stea talks about the
Kansas City Southern
Mon, Sep 29, 1pm
TV Room
Quinta Loreto Hotel
Loreto 15
No charge

The local issue involves an increase in the number and length of trains running daily through San Miguel de Allende, from one or two per day a decade ago to one per hour in the near future. For those residents living near the railway line who don’t love the sound of train whistles, it will mean noisy nights; however, this is a nuisance, not life-threatening.

What is more perilous is the fact that the road crossings in the city are completely unguarded, lacking any warning systems whatsoever. In the vicinity of the old passenger station, now the major crossing for cars and buses destined for San Miguel Viejo, the new Otomi development, Guanajuato, and Leon, the track curves before approaching the station from either direction, meaning that oncoming trains are not visible until too late to apply brakes. Another crossing is used by schoolchildren going from their homes on the San Miguel side to their school on the other side of the track. The danger is obvious.

Further, longer trains stopping at the station crossing means that cars and buses now encountering delays crossing the right-of-way will experience even longer delays in the future.

“Todos por San Miguel,” a local organization, is trying actively to resolve some of these issues by working with the San Miguel city government and the KCCdeM railway.

The global issue is why more and longer trains are the wave of the present and the future? The answer involves commerce among the US, Mexico, and Asia (especially China). China wants food and other goods from the US, cars and minerals from Mexico, and oil from both countries, all to be shipped out through Lázaro Cardenas. On September 11, it was reported the Enrique Peña Nieto intends to spend more than US$150 million on a 50 percent increase in the capacity of the port city. Other sources suggest that a Chinese firm proposes to spend even more on a further expansion of Lázaro Cardenas, whose increased shipping will be served by the same railway that passes through San Miguel. The meeting and discussion are always open to all, and there is no charge.


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