As part of a planned total investment over the next four years of more than $9.4 billion in passenger and cargo rail projects throughout Mexico, the nation’s transport and communications ministry (SCT) will tender at least three such projects in 2014, totaling at least $7.4 billion this year alone. A total of 13 new projects are planned for the coming months and years, including new rail lines on the Yucatan Peninsula, from Mexico City to Toluca and from Mexico City to Queretaro.
“Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said he expects to oversee $300 billion in spending on major infrastructure projects aimed at beefing up the country’s economy during his six-year term,” writes the Chicago Tribune. “Public and private investments in transportation and communications infrastructure will reach nearly a third of that total between 2013 and 2018, the president said.”
In addition, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC),which is an arm of Latin American development bank IDB, has announced it expects to see a high demand for financing of lucrative infrastructure investments in the coming years, including expansion of railways, ports and highways, as well as the energy sector. According to the president, a mixture of private and public investments will be used to fund the projects.
The budget approved last fall by the Mexican government gives priority to infrastructure investments, including rail, which will also help more travelers utilize trains instead of driving or flying. This will increase the earning potential for passenger rail and the travel/tourism sectors throughout the country, especially in the Riviera Maya region and the Yucatan Peninsula, where a high speed rail project will help unlock the region’s full economic potential.
“Mexican trains currently transport about 13 percent of freight cargo, but only 1.2 percent of passengers, according to government data,” writes the Chicago Tribune. “Cars and trucks, meanwhile, account for more than half of freight and 96 percent of passengers.”
Other planned rail projects include a new cargo line from Aguascalientes to Guadalajara, which will reduce the time it takes to travel between the Manzanillo and Altamira ports by at least 16 hours. In addition, new rail bypasses in Coatzacoalcos, Celaya and Matamoros will increase cargo transport speeds and redirect the transport of hazardous materials to outside city limits. Bombardier and Siemens are both expected to bid on the new rail projects.