Riviera Maya, Q.R. — With the arrival of the first Mayan Train cars in Cancun has been the start of static testing. Despite the fact that there are still sections under construction, including the track and station in Cancun, the Government of Mexico says that the project will be ready for inauguration sometime in December.
The railway project will offer tourists a new way to travel 1,554 kilometers in five of Mexico’s states. Along the five-state route will be 20 Tren Maya stations and 14 bus stops.
According to the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur), there will be only one train station in the state of Chiapas, which will be the Palenque station. In Tabasco, tourists will be able to get off and on at the Boca del Cerro Station which connects with Chiapas, the Tenosique bus stop and the El Triunfo Tren Maya Station, which will connect with Campeche.
In the state of Campeche, travelers will be able to connect with Tabasco, Yucatán and Quintana Roo. It will have four Tren Maya Stations and seven bus stops. The Tabasco route will include the Candelaria stop where it will advance to the Escárcega Station and continue to the Carrillo Puerto stop.
From there, travelers will arrive at the Edzná Tren Maya Station then on to the San Francisco Campeche station and continue to the Tenabo, Hecelchakán and Calkiní stops from where they can connect with the state of Yucatan.
The route through the state of Yucatan will include three stops and four stations. Entering from Campeche, the first bus stop is Maxcanú and then on to Umán where train travelers will arrive at the Teya / Merida Tren Maya Station.
From there, the train will carry onward to Quintana Roo passing through Tixkokob, Izamal stops and Chichén Itzá and Valladolid Stations.
Quintana Roo is the state with the largest number of stations with a total of eight stations and four bus stops. Maya Train passengers arriving to Quintana Roo from Yucatan will pass through the Nuevo Xcán Station before reaching the Leona Vicario stop.
From there, passengers will continue to the Cancun Maya Train Station, which for those wanting access, can connect with the Cancun International Airport via a minibus.
Train passengers not interested in getting off for the Cancun Airport can carry on to Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and eventually the Tulum International Airport and the Felipe Carrillo Puerto Maya Train Station.
The train will continue toward the Limones and Bacalar stops and eventually the Chetumal Airport before arriving at Nicolás Bravo.
Ticket costs for the Maya Train have yet to be announced. Not even a hint of prices has been revealed by officials, however, General Óscar David Lozáno Ávila who is the General Director of the corporation that manages the project under the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena), has said the tickets will be less than what passengers pay for a normal bus ticket.
The value of the regular Mayan Train ticket “will absolutely be less than what people are paying today on normal buses,” he said. He explained that the price of the tickets will be made affordable so they can be easily purchased by local people, meaning the prices will coincide with local salaries.
During his recent ExpoRail 2023 visit, he said the government is also considering a multi-model user access card that can be used on the Maya Train as well as the Ie-Tram in Yucatán, among other services.
He explained that the multi-use card could be integrated into other services. “If you travel on the Ie-tram from La Plancha to the Teya station train near Mérida, that same card will serve you for the Tren Maya,” he explained noting that for now, that idea is only a concept.
He also admitted that the price of Maya Train tickets will depend on compliance with the requirements of the rail transport regulatory agency. “This agency is the one that sets the cost of transportation per kilometer for both passengers and cargo,” he noted.
At the moment, the company STIR (Interregional Transportation System), which has been hired by Fonatur, is carrying out a demand study to determine a price for the public.
Lozano Ávila specified that there are currently companies bidding to carry out the train ticketing process which will see tickets sold in all 34 stops (20 stations and 14 stops). The ticket selling process will also include online sales as well as through a Tren Maya mobile app.
“We want it to be like when you enter the airport with your boarding pass, that these options allow anyone interested access to anywhere,” he said.