Mexico City, Mexico — President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says it will not be long before passenger trains return to Mexico. López Obrador made his comment Tuesday after traveling his first trip aboard the Isthmus of Tehuantepec Train.
During his morning press conference, he reaffirmed his commitment to complete more than 2,700 kilometers of railway tracks, of which 1,200 correspond to the Interoceanic Railway and 1,554 to the Maya Train.
“In the not too distant future, passenger trains will return to the entire country,” he said after touring the Isthmus of Tehuantepec train Monday.
AMLO said that his government put life into the country’s passenger trains after decades of neglect of the railway system during the neoliberal period.
“It was totally abandoned. I told them that Matías Romero is known as the railway city, but there was no longer a railway because these neoliberals, corrupt, irresponsible, put an end to the railways especially the passenger trains,” he said at the end of his comprehensive railway project report.
He recalled that passenger trains stopped running during the six-year term of Ernesto Zedillo, who promoted the privatization of the Mexican railway system, granting concessions to companies for up to 50 years.
“There were passenger trains from Mexico City, from Monterrey, from Mexico City to Guadalajara, from Mexico City to Yucatán and, well, up to Nogales, to the border.
“The country was completely connected with passenger trains and these irresponsible people, I repeat, overnight, in the blink of an eye ended 150 years of history of the national railways,” he said.
He says the Government of Mexico is returning passenger service to the nation, connecting the south-southeast states.
The Tehuantepec Isthmus Railway will transport passengers and cargo through different routes from Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, to Coatzacoalcos. From that point in Veracruz it will connect with the Port of Dos Bocas in Tabasco and the Mayan Train in Palenque, Chiapas.
In addition, it will connect Ixtepec, in Oaxaca with Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas, through 1,200 kilometers of railway tracks, which will be fully rehabilitated by July 2024.
“The train is very good. The roads are practically finished. It is in a testing period until December when it will open to the public. The passenger trains are returning,” he said Monday.
Tren Maya, with its 1,554 kilometers, will bring development and well-being to the people of the five states of Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo starting in December of this year, he added in a statement.
The center of the country is not exempt from the new push for passenger trains. The El Insurgente Train will connect Mexico City with the State of Mexico, which will improve the quality of life of thousands of users by shortening the route to 39 minutes when the entire track is ready in 2024.