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When Guadalajara stopped being a ‘remote city’

The anniversary of one of the most important technological accomplishments and economic developments in the life of Guadalajara went by virtually unnoticed on May 15.

pg7 copyIt was on this day 135 years ago that regular train service began between Jalisco’s capital and Mexico City.

The breakthrough event in 1888 changed both this city and state forever, ushering in a new era of unprecedented social, cultural and economic development.

During the three previous decades, Guadalajara had struggled to break the provincial restrictions that distance and terrain had traditionally enforced. Endemic banditry along rutted access coach roads and rural political unrest had effectively relegated this city to a position of a small, modestly thriving provincial capital that was seen by most Mexicans as unfortunately condemned to isolation.

Historical circumstances and geography hindered the development of reliable communications and travel between Guadalajara and the rest of the Republic. The railroad, deemed a technological miracle at the time, allowed Tapatios not only to boost their cultural horizons, but to participate in significantly new ways in the nation’s political, economic and social life.

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