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AMLO and dignitaries kick off start of Cancun Maya Train project

Cancun, Q.R. — Section five of the Maya Train that will run from the Cancun International Airport to Tulum was kicked off Friday by president Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Together with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the governor of Quintana Roo, Carlos Joaquin, also participated in the starting of the project saying “it is much more than an infrastructure project, it actually represents a new paradigm.”

The governor explained that section five is of strategic importance because Cancun is a tourist magnet and will surely be the window of the Maya Train to the rest of the world.

Joaquín added that the Cancun-Tulum route has much to contribute to the comprehensive project because it represents the modern and avant-garde perspective of the regional ancestral origin, which is an essential part of the strategic vision to unite and develop the Mayan world.

“In Quintana Roo, we are ready to do our part,” he said. “In Quintana Roo, we never lower our arms. Day after day, we fight to maintain containment of the Covid contagion and, in parallel, we advance in the reactivation of tourism and productive activities.

“We have recovered the frequency of our flights quite well, our hotel capacity is growing again but we still need the return of cruises, whose expectations are for the middle of this year,” he explained.

Initially, the whole of section five, which runs from the Cancun International Airport to Tulum, was divided into two with a northern and southern region, both being awarded to different construction companies. However, after delays in announcing the winning bidder for the northern section of the train, Fonatur head Rogelio Jiménez Pons has announced its cancellation.

The agency says that now, the northern section of the train, which will run from the Cancun International Airport to Playa del Carmen, will be constructed by the country’s military engineers.

After AMLO’s visit Friday, Fonatur (Fondo Nacional de Fomento al Turismo) says now, the northern section will be left to the Ministry of National Defense and the southern section will be built by the previously awarded bidder, Grupo México and Acciona consortium.

The agency explained that the decision to cancel the tender was so they can take advantage of the technical and operational experience of Sedena’s engineering service in addition to strengthen the budget of the federal government.

“The execution of the project by the Ministry of National Defense will allow obtaining significant savings, since no financing or utility charges are generated,” they said.

AMLO confirmed that the National Defense Secretariat will be in charge of the construction of section 5 north, after canceling the international public tender in which 52 companies expressed interest.

Fonatur detailed that the northern track from Cancun to Playa del Carmen will consist of a 49.8-kilometer-long railway viaduct, with an electrified double track supported on a 10-meter high structure made of reinforced concrete with a base of columns, capitals and beams.

It will limit the effect on residents, businesses and visitors by reducing noise and vibration levels thanks to the electromotive system, the replacement of sleepers and ballasts with a plate track system.

On the elevated line, passenger and freight trains will run with an estimated speed of 160 and 100 kilometers per hour, respectively.

The southern sub-section will be 60.3 kilometers long and represent a modern, efficient and safe transportation alternative between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, one of the regions with the most tourist development.

President López Obrador explained that the decision to authorize the construction of the elevated railway viaduct was made to avoid regional damage and avoid road closures, diversions and congestion.

“This will help integrate the southeast since there is a great difference between the south and the north. In the south, there is more abandonment, more poverty than in the north of Quintana Roo, here, in the same state,” said President López Obrador.