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Mexico City-Toluca train cars These cars won't be leaving the station any time soon.

Intercity passenger train could take another 3 years to complete

Mexico-Toluca train's price tag now estimated to be almost double the original estimate

The problem-plagued Mexico City-Toluca train project will take another two to three years to complete, President López Obrador said yesterday.

The president told reporters at his morning press conference that the budget allocated to the project this year will be insufficient to finish it, adding that the rail line will end up costing 65 billion pesos (US $3.4 billion).

Construction of the 57-kilometer railway, which is expected to cut travel time between the national and México state capitals to just 39 minutes, has been delayed by protestsconstruction problems and legal problems. It was originally scheduled to be completed by December 2017.

López Obrador’s cost estimate is almost double the 33-million-peso price tag authorities originally predicted.

The president also criticized the past federal government for leaving other infrastructure projects unfinished, specifically citing a light rail project in Guadalajara, Jalisco, which needs an additional 3.5 billion pesos (US $182.3 million) to complete.

“Importance was given to all the current projects but there are so many that this year’s budget won’t be enough . . . So, we’re going to prioritize. Perhaps we’ll finish the Guadalajara train [first] . . . then we’ll have the Mexico City-Toluca one to finish in two or three years,” López Obrador said.

Before he was sworn in as president on December 1, López Obrador said his government would prioritize seven urgent infrastructure projects including the Maya Train, a trade corridor in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and the provision of internet to the whole country.

Former president Enrique Peña Nieto’s signature project, the new Mexico City international airport, has been cancelled.

Source: El Financiero (sp) 

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