In 1950 the Mexico City Mint issued a special one year design to commemorate the inauguration of the new railway connecting the rest of Mexico to the State of Yucatan.
Coins were struck using a crown sized silver planchet that measured 40 mm in diameter with 0.720 silver fineness and .6430 ounces of silver. With its picturesque Locomotive design on a large 40 mm silver canvass makes it one of Mexico’s most collected and popular coins.
The obverse design features the Mexican coat of arms, an eagle clutching a snake while it perches on a prickly pear cactus. In an arc around the design is the phrase “ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS”. Beneath the central design is the denomination “CINCO PESOS”, silver content "LEY 0.720", and weight "27 7/9 G". Below the denomination is the year of issue and mint mark “Mo” for the Mexico City Mint.
The reverse design features a locomotive passing by a plantation with a rising sun with rays and the year 1950. Encircling the design is the phrase “INAUGURACION DEL FERROCARRIL DEL SURESTE” or Inauguration of the Railway of the Southeast. Over the years this phrase has been shorted and the coin is today commonly referred to as the Sothern Railroad.
The coin edge is lettered with the words “COMERCIO AGRICULTURA INDUSTRIA”.
In the early 20th century, Mexico’s most dense area of railways existed in the Yucatan region but it had one drawback… it was not connected to any of Mexico’s other rail systems. The rail systems in place during this time was primarily used to provide transportation from the regions plantations to shipping ports on the Yucatan Peninsula for export. Since a highway system had yet to be established, the most effective way to travel to the Yucatan from other areas of Mexico was by ship.
It was not until the 1930’s that the national government of Mexico decided that Yucatan needed to be connected to the rest of the nation via rail and commissioned the poject which would not be completed until 1950. By 1999 the Southern Rail would become privatized but the rail would eventually close in 2007.
General Market Notes
According to Krause Publications half of the minted pieces were melted down to be used for 1968 Olympic 25 Peso Coins reducing the available mintage from 200,000 to 100,000. Luckily coins that survived the melting were saved in large quantities and despite its popularity coin prices remain affordable.