Interurban Trains Align SCT Agenda With Presidential ViewsBy Pedro Alcalá | Mon, 11/23/2020 - 18:19
The Mexico City-Toluca Interurban Train is receiving more attention due to SCT and the president’s goals for the end of this administration. The project has now received its second presidential visit in less than three months. The previous visit took place during the second week of September when SCT leader Jorge Arganis Díaz Leal was unable to attend the meeting after testing positive for COVID-19. This time, he was able to join the president in his walk through the underground portion of the train this past weekend, according to a press release from SCT. During the visit they were joined by Mexico State Governor Alfredo Del Mazo and Infrastructure Subsecretary Cedric Iván Escalante Sauri. Both officials highlighted that the construction of the train was currently at 87 percent completion.
Díaz Leal highlighted the importance of this project in the SCT’s overall vision of interurban rail development, which includes Line 3 of Guadalajara’s light rail system, the suburban train that will connect Lecheria to the Felipe Ángeles airport currently being built in Santa Lucia, the interurban train to be completed between the cities of Leon and Celaya, a suburban train connecting the twin cities of Monterey and San Pedro Garza García with their airport and the Mexico City-Queretaro interurban train, among others. Díaz also underlined the role these projects play in the larger federal and presidential agenda of rail development, considered flagship infrastructure projects along with the Mayan Train and the Transisthmic Corridor.
Some of these interurban rail projects are entirely new, while others were delayed or formerly suspended projects from Enrique Peña Nieto’s presidential term, which include the Mexico City-Toluca project and also the Mexico City-Queretaro Interurban Train, which was originally suspended in 2015 after the downturn in oil prices. Many of these projects will also involve large degrees of cooperation between the federal government and state governments on opposite ends of the political spectrum. SCT is expected to act as an essential bridge in these cases. “The construction of the Mexico City-Toluca Interurban Train symbolizes the cooperation between governments and the capacity to work in a coordinated matter to the benefit of society,” said Díaz.
While advancing toward completion, the Mexico City-Toluca Interurban Train is not free of hurdles. For example, La Prensa reported in early November that neighbors from Mexico City’s Alvaro Obregon municipality were expressing serious concerns about the effects of the train’s construction on their access to basic services and the safety of their homes and businesses. Their main fear is that the train’s completion will make their neighborhood’s soil and urban surfaces even more unstable than before. Some sections of the Alvaro Obregon municipality have been characterized by numerous cave-ins, street collapses and similar incidents. Neighbors have complained that authorities have not been transparent with them when communicating the exact route of the train and the characteristics, needs and impact of its construction process.