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López Obrador details complications and Tren Maya delays

Mexico City, Mexico — President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that on December 15, the Palenque to Cancun section of train will be inaugurated.

In a morning press conference, the President explained that construction on section 5 will be extended to the end of January 2024, the month in which the section from Cancun to Tulum will be complete.

“In February, the 1,554 kilometers that will connect Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo will be consolidated,” he said in a statement.

“In the case of section 5, the fact is it has been more complex than we imagined because we are building so as not to affect underwater rivers, cenotes. The train is being built above, more than 80 kilometers of double-track viaducts, so yes, it is a very complicated project.

“Nowhere else in the country is there 80 kilometers of second levels, which is what is being carried out,” he explained.

“We have been very careful not to affect underground rivers, not to affect, of course, archaeological zones, cenotes. (…) There are wildlife passages that have not been done in the country in all of history. We are talking about the Maya Train having more than 500 wildlife passages,” he added.

Section 5 is divided into northern and southern subsections. The first, in charge of military engineers from the Secretariat of National Defense, and the second made up of construction companies who are developing this route in a coordinated manner.

López Obrador pointed out that the main challenge to be resolved in the coming weeks is the completion of the Boca del Cerro bridge, located in Tenosique, Tabasco, which will cross the largest river in Mexico, the Usumacinta.

Boca del Cerro bridge, Tenosique, Tabasco Photo: Fonatur

“This bridge, by the Mota-Engil company, will be the flagship of Mexican civil engineering by achieving the necessary precision to join the lines of the Maya Train, ” he said.

“If we are lucky, because luck counts in everything, in a month and a half the bridge will be there and we will be able to go to Palenque and we will be able to inaugurate the section from Palenque to Cancun,” he stated.

He reiterated that in parallel, Sedena’s military engineers are building the Felipe Carrillo Puerto Tulum International Airport which will open on December 1.

“It is one of the most important airports in the country and the world, a great project, a very beautiful, quality project,” he stated.

The President also celebrated the sale of tickets for Mexicana de Aviación, the new state-owned airline, before its start of operations scheduled for November 30.

“Tickets for the new Mexicana line are already being sold. Mexicana planes are going to start flying again and they are going to fly to Tulum,” he said.