The IRCA was the major railroad system in Guatemala and El Salvador, running from the Mexican border to the Gulf of Fonseca and from the Caribbean to the Pacific. It was a busy narrow gauge system with relatively high technical standards. It was built to serve the general transportation needs of the area, and handled all kinds of imported goods as well as export coffee and bananas. The IRCA was a New York Stock Exchange listed company, with United Fruit acquiring a controlling interest in its latter years. But the IRCA was unable to deal with highway competition and adverse political problems, and eventually both the Guatemala and Salvador divisions were nationalized, and ultimately the whole system abandoned.