President López Obrador announced that after a tender process, the government signed an agreement to acquire 42 trains for sections six and seven of the Mayan Train project from Bombardier, the same company that made Mexico City’s metro trains.
Bombardier, now owned by Alstom, supplied trains for the capital’s Metro system 20 years ago when López Obrador was Mexico City’s mayor. The president highlights that this acquisition will benefit the population. “Twenty years ago, we signed a contract with Bombardier, now associated with Alstom, to buy 45 trains and 400 wagons for Mexico City’s Metro. Now, we agreed with the same companies the acquisition of 42 trains and 210 wagons for the Mayan Train,” said López Obrador on his Twitter account.
The president expressed that to keep the investment in the country and to create jobs, the construction of the trains will be carried out in Sahagun City, Hidalgo. The contract signing took place at Bombardier’s plant with company representatives Omar Fayad, Governor of Hidalgo; Javier May, Head the National Fund for Tourism Development (FONATUR) and Marcelo Ebrard, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Last year, FONATUR officially granted the contract to Bombardier, Alstom, Gami Ingenieria e Instalaciones, Contruccion Urales and Urales Procesos industriales. According to the document, the investment totaled US$1.7 billion through which the companies agreed to build railway operative systems, maintenance garages and control points. The cost of each train is not specified.
The acquired trains are X’Trapolis models and will have wider seats (compared to the Metro ones), sockets in each of them, Wifi and cabins for resting and working, as well as cafeterias. They are 4.26m in height and 2.96m in width. FONATUR announced that there will be three types of trains for the project: regular Xinbal models; Janal, with a four-seat model and wider areas; and P’atal, which will have berths. According to Alstom, the trains will include Bombardier components, including a light bogie, which will allow speeds of up to 175km/h.
The Mayan Train Project is one of the major infrastructure projects of the López Obrador administration, which aims to boost Southern Mexico’s economy. The project has faced several challenges, like the cancelation of section five by a local court. Organizations fear it could damage the environment and the rights of surrounding communities. Recently, authorities announced that the project will be connected with Guatemala, boosting the Central American economies and preventing migration waves.