Francis T. (Pancho) Scanlan, 75, who retired in 1975 as the Washington representative of the Mexican Government Railway System, died Thursday at Providence Hospital in Washington after a heart attack. He lived in Hyattsville.

Mr. Scanlan was born in Chicago, graduated from the University of Chicago and then did graduate work at the National University of Mexico. Until the mid-1930s, he was a high school teacher in Chicago.

He then went to Mexico and was an employe of the Mexican National Railways. About 1940, he was transferred to Washington, where he was transportation attache for the Mexican Embassy here.

During World War II, he was the transporation officer of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.From 1946 to 1951, he worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as the chief liaison officer in Mexico City for the Eradication of Foot and Mouth Disease, which afflicts cattle.

In 1951, Mr. Scanlan settled in Hyattsville. Until 1962, he was the executive representative here of the railroad of the Pacific branch of the Mexican National Railways. From 1962 until his retirement, he represented the entire Mexican Government Railway System here.

Mr. Scanlan was a member of the National Press Club, the SKAL Club, the University of Maryland "M" Club and the American Club in Mexico City. He also was acitve in the Meals-on-Wheels Program at St. Mark's Catholic Church in Hyattsville.

His wife, the former Miriam Lunney, died in 1978.

Survivors include two children, Elizabeth S. O'brien of Arlington, and Francis T. Jr., a Foreign Service officer stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico; two sisters, Gertrude S. Cleary and Mary S. Callanan, both of Washington, and one granddaughter.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the National Association of Railroad Passengers, 417 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, D.C., 20003.