The start date for the Mexico City-Toluca passenger train has been postponed yet again, although the head of the federal Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (SCT) said he was satisfied with the progress.
Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said the service could begin operating early next summer, in what he said experts had described as “record time.”
In February, Ruiz’s department insisted that the project would be finished by the end of this year, with trains operating on the 57-kilometer line at the beginning of 2019.
The project was initiated in June 2015 and scheduled to be finished by December 2017.
Ruiz said it is now 80% complete, and that construction time has been good.
When first proposed in 2014, the train was projected to cost 35 billion pesos but that figure has been adjusted several times and has now risen to 52 billion (US $2.5 billion), although that is rather less than the 59-billion-peso estimate reported at the beginning of the year.
Ruiz cited inflation, variations in the peso-US dollar exchange rate and changes to the route as reasons for the overruns.
“These are adaptations that are made in these kinds of projects . . . the cost so far is reasonable and according to what was planned,” he said.
Ruiz said operation testing will begin in September.
The train will have the capacity to carry 230,000 passengers a day, reducing travel time between Mexico City and Toluca to 39 minutes, and operate at 160 kilometers per hour.
Source: El Economista (sp)