The Mayan Train is to connect with other key projects, states and even countries, announced the Ministry of Finance at the forum called Nearshoring: Fostering Investment Opportunities in Mexico, organized by The Council of the Americas.
Rogelio Ramírez, Head, the Ministry of Finance announced that the Mayan Train will be linked to the Interoceanic Corridor and will have a connection with Guatemala, boosting the economic development of Oaxaca, Chiapas and other Central American countries.
“The Yucatan Peninsula lacks connection, a railway system is an ideal construction because there used to be a rail that connected the ports of Chiapas and Yucatan… The corridor’s railway is being restored for cargo and passenger transport, it will be upgraded with a line that is should move from the Mayan Peninsula to the south: the Mayan Train,” Ramírez said.
Among the Oaxaca-Guatemala section, a zone is to connect the Mayan Train to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and eventually to Central America. Ramírez highlighted that railways are expensive infrastructure projects, involving long planning times and long-term results. Nevertheless, he considers that they are worth the time and investment.
Ramírez also pointed out that the government acquired 10 industrial parks along the Interoceanic Corridor, with large areas that could be utilized to construct industrial plants.
In 2021, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) recommended several strategies to aid President López Obrador in halting migration waves coming from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. These actions included the interconnection of electric infrastructure, pipelines and cargo trains, as well as the Mayan Train.
Guatemala has shown interest in the Mayan Train. The Central American country plans to connect its 800km railway system with the Mexican project. This connection could receive between 5 or 10 percent of the commercial goods being exchanged between Mexico and Guatemala. In Nov. 2020, Alejandro Giammattei, the President of Guatemala, presented the Mexico-Guatemala railway connection and said he expected to sign an agreement with López Obrador.
Alfredo Oranges, Ambassador to Panama in Mexico, said that the Mayan Train Project is one of the key projects in the continent. He highlighted that Panama has two deep waters ports that can reach over 1,500 global ports. Therefore, it is crucial to link this system with multimodal transportation.
The Mayan Train project is one of the major infrastructure projects of the López Obrador Administration, it aims to boost Southern Mexico’s economy. The project has faced several challenges, mainly because organizations fear it could damage environment and the rights of surrounding communities. President Obrador declared he will fight against amparos blocking the construction of section five, as he argues that economic interests rather than real environment issues are behind the project’s opposition.