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News > Mexico

Mexico: Mayan Train Begins Operations

  • Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Dic. 2023.

    Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Dic. 2023. | Photo: Presidencia de Mexico

Published 15 December 2023

Its route covers the states of Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo.

The Maya Train, an emblematic project of the current Mexican government aimed at driving economic development in the southeastern region of the country, begins its operations on Friday with a journey between Campeche and Cancun, covering segments 2, 3, and 4 of the seven that will comprise its total 1,554 kilometers.


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After five years of construction, the project becomes a reality on December 15, despite criticisms from environmentalists highlighting the negative impact it would have on the jungle.

The Maya Train covers the states of Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo, with around twenty stations and 14 smaller stops. The train ventures into the jungle, connecting the region known as the Riviera Maya.

Although initially planned with a financing scheme involving public-private mixed investment, the administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) decided to assume all its costs.

"We will not incur debt. These are public works. The train will not be owned by a foreign company. It is a public enterprise, belonging to the people," he said.

The Maya Train's estimated cost is US$28.5 billion, including anticipated expenses for 2024, as recently acknowledged by the Secretary of Finance.

The project was classified by the Mexican government as "of public interest and national security," especially because the Maya Train will promote tourism and create jobs in the southeast, "the most neglected region of the country," AMLO said in 2018.

The anticipated economic, communication, and infrastructure improvements resulting from its route make the Maya Train an alternative for the development of these regions, which are now connected to internationally recognized tourist hubs such as the Riviera Maya or Cancun.

AMLO's plan includes the opening of two new archaeological zones in Quintana Roo, along with the construction of several museums, visitor centers, and six hotels in the area.

The project could create around one million new jobs and lift 1.1 million people out of poverty by the year 2030. The economic impact in the areas where the train passes through would be twice what was forecasted before the project, according to United Nations estimates.

"With a significant investment from the state, we are benefiting millions of people," said Oscar Lozano, the CEO of the Maya Train company.

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