A 1,500-kilometer project in the southeast of Mexico, the mega-work of the Mayan train will pass through the states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo.
Mayan Train Project
The Mayan Train is an infrastructure project for socioeconomic development and sustainable tourism
promoted by the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
It constitutes a new rail transportation service that links the most important cities
and areas of tourist interest in the Yucatan Peninsula.
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The Mayan Train is a means of rail transport that will connect the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico, owned by the public company Olmeca-Maya-Mexica. It will offer three types of services: passenger train, tourist train and cargo train. It was first presented to the governors of the Mexican southeast on September 10, 2018.
The Maya Train railway line departs from Palenque, in Chiapas, and heads northeast towards Cancún, in Quintana Roo, through two routes that skirt the peninsula. The objective of this railway line is to connect tourist destinations in the Caribbean with lesser-known places inland, including Mayan historical sites, from which its name comes.
The Mayan Train is being built in the Mexican southeast
and will supply the states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo.
The train will offer three different services:
To function as a means of transportation between nearby cities and allow easy movement for both local and foreign passengers.
The train will have a unique design and its route will cover archaeological zones, magical towns and beach destinations of tourist interest.
It will facilitate the transport of goods through the Mexican southeast, saving costs, delivery times and environmental impact.
The mega work will cover about 1,500 kilometers with 20 stations and 690 kilometers of electrified roads.
The Tsíimin K’áak fleet will be used for the Mayan Train, which is part of the Alstom company’s family of trains and is a hybrid model (diesel-electric) where each train will consist of between 4 and 7 cars each. one.
The owner of the Mayan Train is the company OMM (Olmeca-Maya-Mexica) which is a majority state-owned company of the Government of Mexico. Grupo Aeroportuario, Ferroviario y de Servicios Auxiliares Olmeca-8Maya-Mexica, S.A de C.V. it is under the control of the Secretary of National Defense (SEDENA). While the operator is the National Tourism Fund (FONATUR).
A total of 42 train carriages will be manufactured at the Ciudad Sahagún plant, in Hidalgo, with a budget of 36,564 million pesos by French and Canadian companies.
Long distance passengers
The railways, called P’atal, will provide seats with reclining backs and lounging cabins, specially designed for long-distance travel.
Regular passenger service
The usual passenger transport will be provided by the train called Xiinbal, which means “walk”. This train will offer first class seats, standard seats and a cafeteria car. The service will be aimed both at local passengers who use it frequently and at tourists and occasional passengers.
Passengers and restaurant
The Janal train service will have a restaurant on board that will have panoramic views of the exterior landscape, while the interior will be inspired by the architectural work of Luis Barragán. The restaurant will offer different design options and seating configurations to make the most of the space in an environment of elegance and natural beauty.
Services for goods
The freight industry is vital for economic growth in Mexico, according to a recent OCDE report on the regulation of rail freight transport.
Rail services are essential for the transportation of raw materials and industrial products, including cereals, agricultural products, metals, and minerals.
In addition, the automotive industry also depends on this means of transportation for its production chains in North America.
Fortunately, the demand for cargo services in Mexico has increased significantly in recent years.
The advantages of transporting goods by train are numerous, such as greater cargo capacity, lower operating costs, and lower environmental impact.
Rail transport is safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly than private transport (trucks) and aeronautical.
In addition, polluting emissions and energy use are significantly lower per ton and kilometer traveled. In addition, the frequency of departure and arrival is stable and the high capacity allows the transport of a greater number of products.
To further enhance the cargo industry in Mexico, the trains will have charging stations located in San Francisco de Campeche, Mérida, Cancún and Chetumal.
These stations will have areas for receiving trains and loading and unloading of goods. With these improvements, rail freight transport will be more efficient, safer and cheaper than ever.
Types of Trains
With its festive and cheerful appearance, this train is a tribute to regional festivities and has a decoration inspired by the culture of the Mexican southeast. This means of transportation will be used in the 19 stations of the 1,554-kilometer route of the Mayan Train. Inside, passengers can enjoy panoramic windows, security cameras and a special cafeteria car. Seats are available in two classes: economy and first class.
Also known as the food train, it is designed for tourism and features a beautiful aquascape design. This train has a restaurant and a variety of seating configurations for two or four people, optimizing the space inside. It will visit the 19 stations of the Mayan Train.
This “accommodation” train is designed for long journeys, with spaces to relax or work. Passengers will notice its focus on comfort in carriages that feature cabins, allowing travelers to convert their seat into a bed and rest during the journey. The P’tal will be a valuable complement for the traveler who wants to enjoy the Mayan Train.
Jungle, Gulf and Caribbean
The 1,550 kilometers are divided into 7 sections with their respective stations and whereabouts.
To see the complete route of the Mayan Train press the following button.
The symbolic placement of the first sleeper in Palenque on December 16, 2018 marked the symbolic start of the construction of the Mayan Train.
In June 2020, construction formally began and work was assigned to various construction companies for different sections of the project.
Mota-Engil México SAPI and China Communications Construction Company LTD would be in charge of section 1, Operadora CICSA and FCC Construcción of section 2, Construcciones Urales and GAMI Ingeniería e Instalaciones of section 3, and Grupo ICA of section 4.
In September 2020, Fonatur rejected an investment proposal for the fifth section of the project, but in February 2021 it awarded a contract to Acciona and Grupo México for a section of electrified double track.
Plans for the passenger trains called for them to be diesel-electric and to reach speeds of up to 160 km/h from January 2021.
Fonatur also contracted Alstom in May 2021 to supply rolling stock and signaling and control equipment for the train system. As of June 2021, the project was 10% complete.
The Mexican government’s railway project led by the National Fund for Tourism Promotion (Fonatur) plans to be financed with a tourism tax and with funds diverted from other government programs.
The project is expected to attract 8,000 daily passengers and charging stations will be built in San Francisco de Campeche, Mérida, Cancún and Chetumal.
However, the total cost of the project has been a controversial issue. It was initially estimated at 150 billion pesos, but an alternative 2019 study put the cost at 480 billion pesos.
In October 2021, Fonatur revised the construction estimate to 200 billion pesos due to the injunctions filed by groups opposing the project.
The Ministry of Tourism received a 647.1% increase in its budget for 2021, allocating 94% to the Mayan Train.
President López Obrador announced that the armed forces would operate three sections of the highway and that the proceeds would be used to strengthen the finances of pensioners and retirees from the armed forces.
The military will own the entire route and receive all the profits. The cost of a single trip for locals, for the section that goes from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, will be around 50 pesos, while tourists will pay between 800 and 1,000 pesos for the same trip due to additional services such as restaurants.
Operative Technical Assistance Group: (GATO) by its acronym in Spanish.
The project began with the release of two rescued female jaguars in Calakmul four years ago and now seeks to establish community Environmental Management Units in each of the seven sections of the Mayan Train.
These units will have veterinary care and rehabilitation facilities for large mammals, such as jaguars and tapirs, to help conserve the species.
When these female jaguars adapt to their natural habitat, they will be able to find mates and have up to 18 young in their lifetime, helping to increase the endangered jaguar population.
The National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) is working in collaboration with the construction companies of the Mayan Train in sections 1 to 3, from Palenque in Chiapas to Izamal in Yucatán.
The main objective is to guarantee the protection and safeguarding of archaeological sites and vestiges that could be found on the route.
To achieve this, technological tools such as LiDAR are being used, which complement the work of traditional archaeology.
Among the archaeological sites that are under analysis is the recently discovered “Aguada Fénix”, as well as any other that is in the vicinity of the train line.
In accordance with the Federal Law on Monuments and Archaeological, Artistic and Historical Zones, the INAH will inspect the sites for their protection, conservation and dissemination.
At present, 98% of the route has been completed in the first 4 sections, from Palenque to Cancun, and more than 14,000 archaeological monuments have been discovered.
What is the purpose of the Mayan Train?
The Mayan Train Railway project is a comprehensive initiative that seeks to achieve sustainable prosperity in the Mexican southeast. It is a comprehensive project with technical data and an overview of the ecological and community aspects of the plan to guarantee the well-being of the people and the preservation of the ecosystem.
What does the UN say about the Mayan Train?
UN-Habitat anticipates that the Mayan Train will promote the generation of jobs in the southeastern region of Mexico. According to their estimates, by the year 2030, 715,000 jobs will be created in the 16 municipalities that have a railway station, 150,000 in the rural economy linked to the railway and another 80,000 in construction. It should be noted that these figures are based on the layout originally proposed for the project.
When will the Mayan Train start operating?
As announced by the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the Mayan Train will begin operating in December 2023.
How much do they charge on the Mayan Train?
What will be the price of the trip on the Mayan Train? Although the official prices have not yet been defined, Fonatur indicated that the cost of the trip for visitors would be in the range of 40 to 50 dollars, which is equivalent to approximately 800 to 1000 Mexican pesos.
Where does the Mayan Train start and end?
The Mayan Train is a tourist and cargo railway project that will cover 1,525 kilometers in the southeast of Mexico, passing through the states of Yucatán, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco and Chiapas. It is estimated that the tour will begin and end in the city of Cancun, but it is also expected that there will be stations in other cities such as Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Palenque, Bacalar, among others. See route
How long does the Mayan Train tour last?
The estimated travel time for the entire route of the Mayan Train is around 12 hours, according to what was reported by the authorities in charge of the project. It is worth mentioning that the actual travel time may vary depending on factors such as the speed of the train, the weather and the stops that are made along the way.
Who created the Mayan Train?
The Mayan Train project was created by the Mexican government, headed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who, before taking office in 2018, proposed it as one of the main infrastructure constructions during his administration.