After countless delays, the new cable car system in Torreón, Coahuila, began operating yesterday.
Under overcast skies and a light rain that was to turn into snow overnight, Mayor Jorge Luis Morán Delgado was joined by Governor Miguel Ángel Riquelme Solís and Bishop of Torreón Luis Martín Barraza Beltrán in a dedication ceremony that even included a baptism.
The governor remarked that the cable car was the result of the collaboration of the local diocese of the Catholic Church and private landowners that donated the property needed for the construction of the tourist attraction.
Riquelme then made a special request to the bishop, asking that it be blessed before its maiden run.
“A child is born, we’ve got to baptize it,” agreed the prelate before unleashing a thinly veiled criticism of the local political class and the recent electoral process that culminated with Riquelme assuming office on December 1.
The Institutional Revolutionary Party governor’s election was a controversial one, triggering a vigorous challenge by opposition parties who claimed the election was fraudulent.
The bishop suggested it would not be a bad thing should some other projects dedicated, such as services oriented toward the community, education, health or infrastructure.
“I’ve heard that the elections were not so exemplary, that people from all political stripes behaved badly,” said Barraza, who took office November 29. “Public service should be dignified. We’re hearing that people around the world say money went missing. We should not abuse the good faith of the people.”
Riquelme laughingly thanked Barraza for attending the event.
The 160-million-peso (almost US $9 million) cable car system runs from its main station in downtown Torreón for 1.4 kilometers to the top of the hill called Cerro de las Noas, a five-minute ride.
At the top, tourists will find the Cristo de las Noas, the largest statue of Jesus Christ in North America. An esplanade offers a unique view of the industrial city to the south.
Gobernador de #Coahuila @mrikelme ofrece una recompensa de tomar una foto de aquellos que criticaron la obra del Teleférico y la van a utilizar con el afán de comprobar que “así somos y que así se ha construido La Laguna” https://t.co/gN0L8XTyPp 😮🚡 pic.twitter.com/3mRvNtoLxU
— Milenio Laguna (@MilenioLaguna) December 7, 2017
The cable car started operations with nine 11-passenger gondolas, but will later become fully operational with double that number and a maximum carrying capacity of 750 passengers at a time each way.
Slated to start operations last March, the project suffered a series of technical setbacks that delayed its delivery date six times. Just last week eager visitors arrived at the Paseo Morelos station only to find the cars were not ready to run yet.
Mayor Morán reported that the contractor in charge of installing and operating the cable car system, the Italian firm Leitner Ropeways, had to run safety tests before opening the service to the public.
Source: Milenio (sp)