Over the last few years, there have been several discussions of an “almost super train” being built in the Yucatan peninsula. Although the routes have varied somewhat, most proposals connect Progreso – Merida – Valladolid – Costa Maya and include a Merida – Campeche link.
Mexico’s new president, Enrique Pena Nieto recently announced his big list of plans after being sworn in. Number 10 on the list of 13 items was the Tren Rápido for Yucatan.
In order to close the gap between different regions of the country…we plan to implement infrastructure works to connect and incorporate the south of Mexico into the world economy,” the release stated.
The president’s promise to develop infrastructure in the south-east is also contained in the government’s strategy document, Pact for Mexico, released on December 2.
Although discussed extensively within Yucatan, most recently by past governor Ivonne Ortega Pacheco, I’m not aware of a Mexican president raising the plans to such a high level before. Could it be a PRI thing – the party of the governor of Yucatan and president of Mexico now being the same?
For whatever the reason, it seems more likely that the train might be built and at a cost estimated at 11,000,000,000 Pesos. Yes, eleven billion Pesos. The World Bank may be involved. All the details are a bit sketchy. No dates or firm facts seem to be available yet, but more news should be forthcoming.
I’m a big proponent of light rail for city transportation (and Merida is such a perfect place for it!) and rapid rail for intercity travel. All of Mexico would benefit from good passenger train service.
Along with this brief post, here’s a map and some graphic details of a possible route, from Mileno Nacional last year.