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López Obrador and Nuevo León Governor Jaime Rodríguez. López Obrador and Nuevo León Governor Jaime Rodríguez.

Accord signed for 13-billion-peso suburban train in Nuevo León

The new train line will connect Monterrey’s airport to the municipality of García

The federal government and the government of the state of Nuevo León signed an agreement on Thursday to improve the state’s transportation system with a suburban train running between the Mariano Escobedo International Airport and the municipality of García.

The agreement allocates 13 billion pesos (US $679 million) for the construction of the new train line, which will include building new tracks as well as establishing right of way agreements with freight trains on existing tracks.

The project will remove from circulation 19 of the 29 freight trains that circulate through the Monterrey metropolitan area.

By 2019, a 62-kilometer passenger route will run from the airport to García crossing five other municipalities in the Monterrey area and stopping at 27 stations.

Communications and Transportation Secretary Javier Jiménez Espriú said the new line will function “under a safe and efficient system of coexistence between public passenger rail and freight.”

According to his department, the suburban train could serve up to 850,000 passengers, including some of the 11 million people who use the Mariano Escobedo airport annually.

In an event to mark the agreement, President López Obrador noted that starting in the early 20th century, passenger rail was important for the development of Mexico.

“At that time, the railroad detonated development in Mexico, and especially in Nuevo León,” he said. “After the revolution, more railroads were built, and all of Mexico was connected by passenger rail.”

The president also lamented the fact that Mexico largely abandoned passenger rail service in recent decades.

“During what we call the neoliberal period, passenger rail disappeared in the blink of an eye, and there are only two lines that remain, both of them for tourists,” he said.

López Obrador added that he hopes projects like the Monterrey suburban train will be replicated across the country.

Source: El Economista (sp)

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