An ambitious project from the current Administration plans to connect 15 cities and towns along the southeast of the Mexican territory. Many consider this the most beautiful part of the country but it is also one of the poorest. The world-renowned tourist destinations of Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Cancun will be just a short comfortable trip away from places like Calakmul, Cobá, Palenque, and Valladolid.
Rogelio Jimenez Pons director of FONATUR the National Fund for Tourism Development recently announced that the construction of the first two stages of the Maya train will begin April 13th. More than 6 countries have expressed interest in participating in the construction process but according to authorities, it will not be the cost but the best way to protect the environment that will be deciding factor on granting the multimillion contracts. Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, and Quintana Roo, are the 4 states of the southeast that will be linked by the Maya Train. Joining culture, population, environment, and economic development, the route will be divided into 3 stages Jungle, Gulf and Caribbean, the train will use hybrid biodiesel fuel. The estimated cost of the project will be 150 billion pesos US$7.4 billion and attract 8,000 daily riders. Financing will be 90% private and 10% Public.
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Half of the rails are already preexisting very old rails that will need to be upgraded but the land will not need to be permitted as 95% of the right of way is already secured because the train will run along highways, electrical transmission lines or existing railways. The Planned stretch of approximately 950 miles, is the biggest infrastructure project currently planned in Latin America turning the eyes of investors towards the already coveted Caribbean shores, making the lucky owners of vacation rentals and commercial establishments excited about the project.
The good news for places like Tulum is that their current almost 2-hour ride to the closest International Airport in Cancun will turn into a 45-minute ride making the trip to the airport much easier and the area much more attractive. Places like Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Valladolid, Calakmul, and Palenque will increase their number of visitors, and Quintana Roo will be able to have affordable freight costs for local products and a connection to the rest of the country.
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Everyone in the industry is excited about this new venture, real estate prices are increasing and the costs of supplies will decrease for the Mexican Caribbean. An eco-friendly biodiesel run train is expected to reach 150 kph, making traveling time shorter and transportation of freight faster.
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Imagen: Periodico Palacio