Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Got 1 min? When will the next Maya Train sections open?

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador confirmed on Sunday that the Cancún to Playa del Carmen stretch of the Maya Train (Tramo 5 Norte) will open as scheduled on Feb. 29.

In a post on social media platform X the president said that he carried out an inspection of the Maya train over the weekend, along with various members of his cabinet and the governor of Yucatán, Mauricio Vila.

President López Obrador shared an image of a working group reviewing progress at the railroad project. (Andrés Manuel López Obrador)

“Yesterday and today, we supervised work on the Maya Train. On Feb. 29, we will inaugurate the section from Cancún to Playa del Carmen, in the heart of the tourist area, bearing in mind the need to improve transport for the [tourism] industry’s employees,” he wrote. 

While Feb. 29 had previously been announced as the date for completion of the entire railroad — which crosses the states of Yucatán, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco and Chiapas — López Obrador said in January that the inauguration of the remaining sections (the southern part of Section 5, as well as Sections 6 and 7) would be postponed, likely until after the June 2 elections. 

During the president’s Monday morning press conference, Maya Train director General Óscar David Lozano Águila said that the Tramo 5 Norte would offer an early morning service for regional workers at 6 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. from Cancún to Playa del Carmen. For tourists, the train will open at 9 a.m. and offer six daily departures. However, he said that the frequency of the schedules would depend on user demand. 

The Cancún-Playa del Carmen section covers almost 50.57 km and comprises three stations: Cancún-Airport, Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen.

Maya Train pilings shown penetrating the roofs of underground caves. (gchristy65/X)

Environmentalists have repeatedly raised concerns about the potential damage to the environment and subterranean water systems caused by construction of the massive infrastructure project, while the government says it will be key to economic development in the southeast.

In photos and videos, some environmentalists documented pilings that penetrate the limestone roofs of delicate cave systems last month, accusing López Obrador of not keeping his promise to protect the region’s unique and fragile ecosystem.

With reports from La Jornada and Excelsior

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