Monday, June 17, 2024

Why is the Maya Train taking the weekend off?

Operations on the Maya Train railroad have been temporarily suspended just two weeks after President López Obrador inaugurated the first sections of his signature infrastructure project.

The Maya Train announced in a statement and on social media that trains wouldn’t run on Dec. 28, 29, 30 and 31.

The Maya Train carried its first paying passengers on Dec. 16, with trips between Cancún and Campeche. (Michael Balam/Cuartocuro)

The suspension of operations was attributed to the “upcoming pre-opening” of the Cancún-Palenque stretch of the 1,554-kilometer-long railroad on Jan. 1.

The announcement on Thursday came after López Obrador inaugurated the Campeche-Cancún stretch of the railroad on Dec. 15.

That stretch comprises sections 2,3 and 4 of the railroad and has stations in or near the Yucatán cities of Mérida, Izamal and Valladolid, and the archaeological site of Chichén Itzá.

Although trains began running along those sections earlier this month, some of the 14 stations have not yet been completed.

Much of the Maya Train’s infrastructure still remains under construction. (Elizabeth Ruiz/Cuartoscuro)

People with tickets to travel on the Maya Train between Dec. 28 and 31 should write to [email protected] to seek a refund or make alternative travel arrangements, the statement said.

“On Jan. 1, 2024, we’ll resume our operations,” the Maya Train said before reiterating its “commitment to providing the best service” to passengers.

Since operations began, 10,680 passengers have “enjoyed the experience of traveling on the Maya Train,” the statement said.

López Obrador inaugurated construction of the Maya Train railroad in June 2020. Private companies and the military have worked on the railroad, which includes sections of newly-built tracks and ones that already existed.

The multi-billion-dollar railroad connects cities and towns in five states: Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán, Quintana Roo and Chiapas.

The entire railroad, which has a total of seven sections, is scheduled to be operational by the end of February.

López Obrador asserts that the operation of the railroad – which will eventually be used by tourist, commuter and freight trains – will spur economic development in Mexico’s historically disadvantaged southeast.

The federal government has invested heavily in the region, building a new refinery on the Tabasco coast and a new airport in Tulum, and developing a trade corridor, which includes a modernized train line, across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to link the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts.

With reports from El Universal and Reforma 

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