The new train line, now under construction. The new train line, now under construction.

Train line modified to save 3,300 trees

Governments agree to changes after residents protest

Objections over the logging of a small forest to clear the way for a new train line between western Mexico City and Toluca have brought agreement by federal and state authorities to modify the project.

Originally the plan was to clear half a hectare of wooded land, about 3,300 trees, where a new road was to be built.

The train was to run over the path of the existing road, supported by columns running down the middle.

But neighbors protested two weeks ago, calling the logging ecocide.

Now, a series of columns will be built on both sides of the existing road so that it can continue to be used, and the train will run directly above vehicular traffic.

The stretch of line in question crosses a small piece of land known as El Ocotal, located in the borough of Cuajimalpa. Many people use the area for outdoor activities, and describe it as a “lung” for Mexico City.

Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera announced the changes, declaring that there would be no effect on El Ocotal.

“We’re giving priority to the public’s complaint,” he said, describing the announcement as “great news.”

Mexico City Deputy Adrián Ruvalcaba Suárez said the redesigned railway was the result of a consensus between Mancera and President Enrique Peña Nieto.

The changes mean the cost of that particular stretch of the train line will double.

The 57-kilometer-long interurban train will connect the southern part of Toluca, capital of Estado de Mexico, with the western part of Mexico City, in the Álvaro Obregón borough.

The service, originating in Zinacantepec, will have six stops including Toluca’s historic center, the Toluca Institute of Technology, where shuttle services will be available to Toluca’s airport, and the business district of Santa Fe before it reaches a terminal at Observatorio, where passengers can connect with the Mexico City Metro system.

Source: Milenio (sp), El Universal (sp), Noticias MVS (sp)

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