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Interpreting the Evidence

Map Showing Principal Railroads, Mexico, 1928

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Era:

    Turn of the Century and WWI (1890 - 1930)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Analysis & Interpretation

  • Grade Level:

    Upper Elementary
    Middle School
    High School
    College University

  • Topics:

    Global History and Geography

  • Primary Source Types:


  • Regions:


  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load Map Showing Principal Railroads, Mexico, 1928 in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
Map of Mexico showing main railroads, 1928.
Historical Context
Mexico was one of the first Latin American countries to promote the development of a railroad system.  Today, the railroads are often slow and unreliable, and highways have become the major mode of transportation.  Much of the freight in Mexico is hauled on trucks, and many people choose to travel on interstate buses.  In addition, air travel is growing in importance as the tourism industry expands.
Essential Question
How does geography influence the economy of a society?
Check for Understanding
Determine the total miles covered by the Mexican railroad system and evaluate the impact of the system on the Mexican economy.


Historical Challenges
The name of one of the countries on this map has changed since the map was created in 1928. Which country is it? What is it called now? Relabel this map to show the change.
Interdisciplinary Connections
Math: What is the farthest distance you could travel by railroad in Mexico in 1928 without backtracking?
Science: Why doesn't this map show very many railroads in the southern part of Mexico?
English Language Arts/Math/Science: Using this map, plan a train trip through Mexico. Describe the places you will stay, the sites you plan to see, and the landscape out your window as you travel. Create a schedule of how long it will take you to travel and how long you will stay in each place.