President Enrique Peña Nieto has promised,“Mexico’s trains will run again,” outlining his vision to enact a multibillion-dollar plan to restore passenger rail service to Mexico. The announcement comes almost 15 years after Peña Nieto’s own Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) completed dismantling the nation’s outdated 19th century passenger rail system.
“His proposals start with the completion of a rail line across the Yucatan Peninsula linking the colonial city of Merida with beach resorts along the Mayan Riviera,” writes The Washington Post. “Next will be a $4.5 billion high speed line between Mexico City and Queretaro,the booming manufacturing and aerospace hub 120 miles northwest of the capital. Long-term plans would extend the route to Mexico’s second largest city,Guadalajara,eventually filling sleek rail cars with business executives,tourists and families freed up from the country’s clogged highways.”
By 2015 cruise ship passengers,expats,tourists and locals will be enjoying ice-cold beverages while zipping through Riviera Maya real estate at 110 mph,with stops at the many scenic beach towns,jungle lodges and archaeological sites along the stunning Mexican Caribbean coastline. Also of note,Peña Nieto’s officials have revealed that they expect the trains will be operated by private concessions,instead of a state agency.
“Mexican officials describe the project as an environmentally minded solution to the country’s growing traffic and pollution woes,and a way to ensure that foreign investment in Mexican industry keeps chugging along,” writes The Washington Post.
According to a report released by Mexico’s Secretary of Communications and Transportation (SCT),the Yucatan Peninsula and Riviera Maya lines will stop in Chichen Itzà,Cobà,Cancun,Playa del Carmen and Tulum,to name only a few of the many planned destinations. Currently,the Secretary of Economic Development,David Alpizar Carrillo,is working to compile feasibility studies,which will allow the federal government to allocate the necessary resources for the project. The SCT has already earmarked nearly $2.4 million to fund the project’s development in 2013.