Route of the rail line in Oaxaca and Veracruz. Route of the rail line in Oaxaca and Veracruz. Economic zones are marked in black; highlighted states are those intended to benefit.

Governor: new railway competition for canal

Construction begins next month on coast-to-coast rail line

Construction of an interoceanic railway line linking the Pacific and Gulf coasts of southern Mexico will begin in January, the governor of Oaxaca has announced.

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Alejandro Murat said that work on the first phase of the 310-kilometer double-track line between the ports of Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, and Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, will represent the start of a free trade agreement for the southeast of Mexico.

Mexico’s largest railway operator, Ferromex, won the tendering process to operate the new line.

Both port cities as well as a corridor running between them are slated to become special economic zones (SEZs) after President Enrique Peña Nieto signed decrees for their creation earlier this year.

Other projects to complement the railway will also be completed using capital provided by the National Infrastructure Fund (Fonadin), Murat said.

They include increasing the capacity of the Salina Cruz port, building a 1-billion-peso agricultural park, modernizing the Ciudad Ixtepec airport and completing the Mitla-Tehuantepec highway.

A plan to reconfigure and modernize the Pemex oil refinery in Salina Cruz, where a huge fire broke out in June, is also being considered.

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Murat first announced a 3-billion-peso investment package for the projects in March, including 700 million pesos for a direct highway between Salina Cruz and Coatzacoalcos.

The governor added that the opening of the industrial interoceanic corridor is expected to attract additional private sector investment from China, Germany and the United States.

Japanese multinational Mitsubishi has already committed US $1.2 billion for the creation of wind farms in the area.

Murat said that the project to link the two oceans would place Mexico in a position where it can compete with the Panama Canal.

“We are going to create favorable conditions . . . to send a message at an international level that in these zones in southeastern Mexico, where Oaxaca and Veracruz are located, there is strong potential that can compete with the Panama Canal and other parts of the world . . .” he said.

In an interview with the newspaper Milenio, Murat said that the idea to create an interoceanic corridor across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec was first suggested more than 100 years ago during the presidency of Porfirio Díaz.

However, he added that the time is now right to turn it into reality because the SEZs provide the tax system and legal certainty required to make it a success.

“The Isthmus of Tehuantepec is ready to go into operation and take advantage of its great potential with a minimum of investment,” Murat said.

“The economic zones can be the trigger for this great project. There is infrastructure, connectivity, no large investments are required, it has all the attributes, the conditions are given,” he added.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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  • cooncats
  • jaime

    Make sure to install slow zones so people can steal off of the train

  • From South of the Border

    First a canal can be used to transport a hundred times more goods by ship than you can transport by train. Second this is another crackpot idea by the corrupt Mexican establishment to bilk the Mexican people out of billions of pesos. Unlike Mexico Panama has almost no corruption the project of widening and modernizing the Panama canal is on time and under budget by the time this railroad even begins construction the canal project will be finished and up and running. By the way the canal has a railroad that is about a few miles away from the canal that runs from the Pacific to the Caribbean and the time to ride said railroad is hours shorter than the proposed railroad here! Once again a nonsensical idea to waste taxpayer money, so that the politicians can steal to high heaven! When will the Mexican people wake up it is like the Mexican people are saying to the politicians”Steal all the money you want we the MEXICAN people are just GULLIBLE and UNEDUCATED keep on stealing we want you to do it”! I have never seen a group of people who just stand and complain, so much, but never do anything about the problems!
    I have a prediction to make in the next 20 to 25 years Mexico will still be what it is a corruption paradise for all the criminal Mexican politicians , because the MEXICAN people are sheep to be sheared and bullied by the politicians, no gumption and NO BACKBONE whatsoever!! Its like the old comedy act where someone puts a sign on a persons back that says “Kick Me” and people kick him or her in the bum and laugh at the person! This is what the Mexican people look like to so many expats we just don’t understand what will it take for the Mexican people to say ” ENOUGH IS ENOUGH” and do something to end the corruption and “PIPE DREAM PROJECTS” that make no sense except to steal more money “WAKE UP MEXICO”, but the Mexican people will just keep on inviting their politicians to steal some more with no consequences! ” Well, Where in Mexico” they’ll say or they’ll say ” Only in Mexico” Good Luck, Your going to need it!!

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