Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has reaffirmed his government’s commitment to complete the 1,550-km (961-mile), $10 billion Tren Maya (Tren Maya) project next year. “We are making progress in building Tren Maya, currently the largest railway project in the world,” López Obrador says. “We will finish the [project] in December 2023.”
López Obrador was speaking during a visit to the state of Yucatán to inspect progress with construction of Tren Maya Sections 2 and 3. He was accompanied by dignitaries including Yucatán Governor Mauricio Vila Dosal, Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval González, and Tren Maya Honorary Project Supervisor Daniel Chávez Morán.
Tren Maya (Tsíimin K’áak, in the Mayan language) is expected to cut journey times and transport costs for passengers and freight in the states of Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo. Serving 16 stations, it will also provide a more environmentally sustainable way of accessing major archaeological sites in southeast Mexico. It is estimated that 27 million tourists have visited Quintana Roo this year, with these stays concentrated in Cancún and other coastal resorts. If only 10% of these visitors travelled inland on the Tren Maya to visit the archaeological sites of Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, Edzná, Calakmul and Palenque, the benefits for southeast Mexico would be substantial, according to López Obrador.
In Maya, “Meentik muuch tsiimin kaak utia al tulakan” means “Let’s Build the Train Together!”
The Mexican government reports that leveling, lining and tamping of new track continues on Section 1 of the Tren Maya from Palenque to Escárcega in Tabasco. On Section 2 from Escárcega to Calkiní, the formation is under construction in Dzitbalché and Hecelchakán. Work to install conduits for fiber optic and electric cabling is progressing in Pomuch.
Section 3 from Calkiní to Izamal includes the new station at Teya-Mérida station in Yucatán, now under construction and forecast to be used by more than 3,000 passengers a day, including many tourists. The station will have four platforms and will be equipped with escalators and lifts. Construction bases along Section 4 from Izamal to Cancún are continuing to receive tracklaying materials, with deliveries so far comprising 464,000 cubic meters of ballast, 56,000 crossties and 35,000 tons of rail. This represents 62% of the materials required for tracklaying on Section 4, where there will be 490 km (304 miles) of double track.
An in-depth report on the Tren Maya project appeared in the November 2020 edition of IRJ. Registered subscribers can read it here.