Mexico's Maya train to have 3 sections

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The 1,525km passenger rail line known as the Maya train that Mexico's president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) is planning to build will comprise three sections, according to documents posted on the future head of state's official website.

One 426km section called the Jungle stretch will run from the archeological site of Palenque, in Chiapas state, to Xpujil, in Campeche state. On the first portion of this section, from Palenque to Escárcega, also in Campeche state, trains will use existing tracks. From Escárcega to Xpujil new tracks will have to be laid and stations also built at Tenosique in Tabasco state and the archeological site of Calakmul in Campeche.

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A second stretch called the Gulf section will be 653km long and connect Escárcega to the beach resort of Cancún, crossing the states of Campeche and Yucatán. There is already an existing railway on about half of the route, from Escárcega to the Yucatán tourist city of Izamal. There will also be stations in Campeche city, Maxcanú and Mérida, the capital of Yucatán state.

The second portion of this stretch will have to be built to connect Izamal to Cancún. This section will have stations near the archeological site of Chichen Itzá and the Yucatán city of Valladolid. The line's terminal is expected to be built at the international airport serving Cancún.

The third stretch, known as the Caribbean section, will be 446km and run from Xpujil to Cancún, and will have to be built from scratch. Stations on this section are planned for Bacalar, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, the archeological ruins of Tulum, and the cities of Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelos, all in Quintana Roo state.

According to recent information from AMLO's team, the project will require estimated investment of between 120bn and 150bn pesos (up to US$7.76bn) in public and private funds, with construction expected to take around four years.

Some 16bn pesos are expected to be earmarked for the project in the federal budget for next year, of which half will come from tourism taxes.

Investors from countries including China, Canada, France and Germany have expressed interest in participating in construction of the line, according to project developers.

AMLO takes office December 1.