Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Toluca train to begin operations in September

A Mexico City-Toluca commuter train under construction will begin partial operations in September, said Jorge Mendoza, director of Mexico’s national development bank (Banobras), on Tuesday during President López Obrador’s morning press conference. 

The first operational stage of the CDMX-Toluca Interurban Train is set to begin on Sep. 14 after more than nine years of planning and construction that started during Enrique Peña Nieto’s presidency. 

Intercity Train route map.
Only the Zinacantepec-Lerma stretch of the Mexico City-Toluca Interurban Train (the first four yellow dots from left) will be open during the initial months of the train’s operation. (SCT)

Mendoza noted that only the first railroad’s section — the 20 km from Zinacantepec to Lerma in México state — will run during this phase. 

“We are going to start with the section from Zinacantepec to Lerma México state. We are going to start with four trains, which are already undergoing tests and have shown satisfactory results,” Mendoza said. 

“There are four stations: Zinacantepec, the Pino Suárez-Toluca Centro station, Tecnológico-Metepec and Lerma.” 

When fully finished, the train will run along 87 kilometers of electrified track, stopping at a total of seven stations that will link Toluca and surrounding municipalities with the Observatorio Metro station in west Mexico City. 

Train interior
The train is designed to cut travel times between Mexico City and the Toluca commuter hub. (CAF)

Its 20 trains have five cars each, and each train can carry up to 700 passengers. The maximum speed will be 160 kilometers per hour. 

“The travel time from end to end will be 39 minutes. The total investment, in compliance with the budget, will be 97 billion pesos. … We are estimating that we could see 81,000 passengers daily by next year,” Mendoza explained, adding that during this initial period, trains will run every 10 minutes between 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. 

México state Governor-Elect Delfina Gómez, who was also present during the morning press conference, recognized the importance of the project, noting that it will be the “first high-capacity transportation option” in the country. She takes office on September 16. 

The project has faced cost overruns of about 72 billion pesos and significant delays. While it was initially expected to be complete in 2017, deserted tenders, an inadequate budget and community resistance to parts of the track created setbacks, particularly surrounding the Mexico City-Toluca stretch

The entire project is expected to be completed by December and fully operational by the first part of 2024.

With reports from Sin Embargo and Milenio

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