Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Mayor Sheinbaum announces CDMX-Toluca train will be completed in 2023

The third section of the Mexico City-Toluca commuter train is 25% complete, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced Monday. The train will connect the center of Mexico City with Toluca, the capital city of México state. 

“Today, it is 25% complete. A very important part is the Observatorio station because in addition to the [commuter train], it encompasses the expansion of Line 12, plus Line 1… We have to finish it by December 2023,” the Mexico City mayor said during a press conference. 

The third stage encompasses the stretch of railway between Observatorio Station and the Santa Fe station, both in the Álvaro Obregón borough. The train will also serve the Vasco de Quiroga neighborhood, in the Gustavo A. Madero borough, before entering México state. Stages 1 and 2 are already complete. 

“There are 11 companies working on Stage 3, which is the stage that is the most delayed,” Sheinbaum said. “Today, it is 25% complete, when in a year and a half, it practically did not advance.”  

planned Mexico-Toluca interurban train route
The train would have three stops in Mexico City and four in México state, shown as the yellow circles on this map.

In October, the Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transport (SICT) announced that the project will be complete in 2023 and will enter its testing phase in 2024.

“[México state] Governor Alfredo del Mazo and Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum [and] federal officials are working, and above all, the companies in charge of the project are complying,” President López Obrador said on Sunday. 

The train will serve seven stations over 58 kilometers between the two states and is expected to transport 230,000 passengers per day.

The entire route will take about 39 minutes to ride. Economic analyst José Luis de la Cruz Gallegos emphasized the need for rail transport connecting México state with Mexico City, given the amount of traffic between the two locations. 

“It is good that this government is trying to finish the project because railway works are essential in the country to get in tune with transport in Europe and Asia,” de la Cruz said. 

The train’s construction has faced a series of delays since its inception in 2014, during President Enrique Peña Nieto’s term.

Mexico CIty Mayor visiting worksite of planned Mexico City-Toluca intercity commuter rail line.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum visiting Section III of the Mexico-Toluca interurban train construction site on Sunday with México state Governor Alfredo del Mazo. (Photo: Sheinbaum/Twitter)

Initially expected to be complete in 2017, setbacks such as deserted tenders, an inadequate budget and community opposition led to the project’s suspension. While there is still some resistance from residents living along the third section of the railway, it should not lead to further delays, SICT officials said. 

The project has also faced cost overruns, rising from an estimated 37 billion pesos (US $1.9 billion) in 2013 to about 105 billion pesos (US $5.4 billion), according to the latest Ministry of Finance estimates.

According to De la Cruz, this is due to multiple factors, including the rising global prices of construction materials. 

The National Infrastructure Fund (Fonadin) will be given the task of operating the train when it comes into operation; its concession expires in 2058. 

The project will reportedly be completed at the same time as another major infrastructure project, the Maya Train, in the country’s southeast. 

With reports from El País and El Heraldo de México

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