The Maya Train, the ambitious railway project that will connect five states in the southeast of Mexico, will begin operations on December 15, 2023, according to the National Fund for Tourism Promotion (Fonatur), the government agency responsible for the project.
The first section to open will be the one that runs from Campeche to Cancun, passing through Merida and Valladolid, covering a distance of 648 kilometers (403 miles). This section will offer passengers the opportunity to visit some of the most attractive destinations in the Yucatan Peninsula, such as archaeological sites, colonial cities, natural reserves, and beaches.
The Maya Train is expected to carry 10,000 passengers per day and attract three million tourists annually, generating economic growth, employment, and social development in the region. The project also aims to preserve the environment and the culture of the Maya people, who have inhabited the area for thousands of years.
The project director, Oscar Lozano, said that the Maya Train will be one of the best rail systems in the world, with state-of-the-art technology, safety, and comfort. He said that the train will feature 42 X'Trapolis trains, electric trains that will have a distinctive design for Mexico, with a capacity of 300 passengers per car. The train will use both ground and air surveillance to achieve its "vision of zero accidents", he added.
The train will also use environmentally friendly fuel, produced by Pemex, and electricity, provided by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), to move at speeds of up to 160 km/h (99 mph) for passengers and 109 km/h (68 mph) for cargo.
The president of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who announced the project in September 2018, said that the Maya Train is a "historic" and "transcendental" work for the country, and that it will benefit not only the tourism sector, but also the local communities, the indigenous peoples, and the national sovereignty.
The tourism minister, Miguel Torruco, said that the Maya Train will position Mexico as a world-class destination, and that it will offer visitors a unique and diverse experience, combining nature, culture, history, gastronomy, and adventure.
The Maya Train will have a total of 34 stations and stops, and will cover a total of 1,554 kilometers (966 miles) in five states: Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo. The rest of the sections will be inaugurated gradually, with the entire route expected to be fully operational by February 2024.
The tickets for the Maya Train are already available from December 1, 2023, on the website, the app, or the ticket office of any station or stop. The prices will vary depending on the distance traveled and the type of passenger, with locals paying the lowest rate.