FONATUR has reported a construction progress for the Mayan Train of between 30 and 32 percent by the end of 2021, after 59 weeks of work, although this progress is not evenly distributed among the train’s various segments.
Works around the first segment, which runs from Palenque, Chiapas, to Escárcega, Campeche (also crossing through the state of Tabasco), are currently focused on the gathering of rail components and their initial installation along certain key subsegments. FONATUR’s report details the fact that at a worksite in Balancán, Tabasco, 12,708 tons of rail parts have been received and stored. Additionally, 88 drainage network construction projects that cross the train’s route along this segment have been finished, while 26 are still ongoing. The construction of the train’s second segment, which crosses the state of Campeche to the state of Yucatan, is more advanced due to the presence of pre-existing infrastructure but is currently focused on the construction of environmental mitigation measures, such as “biodiversity bridges” for protected jungle species to cross the rail lines unharmed.
The train’s third and fourth segments cross through the entirety of the state of Yucatan and the state of Quintana Roo to reach Cancun. The train’s route in this segment frequently follows the path of many major highways, so its construction process has been focused on building 15 vehicular overpasses and distribution lanes. 18,649 tons of rail components have been gathered at various sites along these two segments to advance the installation of the rail line, which is currently at 60 percent completion. The train’s fourth segment has also required the construction of 107 bridges and crossings for the transit of grazing cattle in locations that have been previously accorded with members of affected rural and farming communities. It is in this segment that a pre-fabrication yard has been constructed and 216km of yards have been completed.
The train’s fifth segment will go from Cancun to Tulum, perhaps the train’s most crucial segment from a tourism infrastructure investment perspective despite its shortness relative to the previous segments. 12,322 tons of rail components have been gathered for this segment, covering over 80 percent of its material needs, although work is yet to begin given various land use and leasing controversies yet to be resolved. FONATUR concluded its report by mentioning that 2022 will see the arrival to Cancun of a group of select military engineers that will be taking charge of the construction of the train’s fifth segment.