The Mayan Train’s path has been modified and will no longer cross through the capital of the state of Campeche, according to an announcement from FONATUR Director Rogelio Jiménez Pons.
The change of route came as a result of a cost analysis which revealed that over US$98 million could be saved if the train went around the capital city of Campeche (also called Campeche or San Francisco de Campeche, one of the oldest state capitals in Mexico), along with savings in construction time and total travel time.
The train’s new stop will be near the city’s airport, located next to the Pablo García y Montilla highway which circles the city. “Campeche is a relatively small city, so the station’s new location will be at a distance from the city center that can be reached in approximately seven minutes by car, so this does not represent an issue of connectivity in our view,” said Jimenez Pons. However, he did admit that this additional distance would have to be covered by additional public transportation infrastructure. It is unclear what role was played in this decision by the private contractors already chosen to build this segment of the train.
This is the second time the Mayan Train has had to change its route. In July 2020, a prefeasibility study revealed that its planned path from Izamal to Cancun, a 196 km stretch over the states of Yucatan and Quintana Roo, passed through terrain that was considered “risky” due to the amount and density of underground caves that were mapped. As a result, 61km of additional rail needed to be added to the new retraced route which avoided this terrain, and this represented an increase in costs of over US$840 million.
Despite this setback, the Mayan Train project has continued its progress as steadily as ever. FONATUR also announced recently that it has recruited 900 people to act as “volunteer brigadiers” in support of the Mayan Train project. It was also recently announced that the first batch of new housing units has been delivered to the families in Campeche that will be displaced by the train’s construction. FONATUR also claims that over US$32 million has already been invested in addressing all of the demands that have come up throughout the polling of indigenous communities that will be affected by the Mayan Train’s construction and operation.