Mexico-Guatemala Railway Interconnection Ready by 2021By Paloma Duran | Fri, 12/18/2020 - 12:47
The railway interconnection between Mexico and Guatemala that seeks to connect Hidalgo City, Chiapas with Tecún Umán, Guatemala is expected to start operating in 2021. Both countries will study Guatemala’s Bicentennial Train, which aims to connect the Mexican border with Puerto Quetzal.
Currently, Guatemala and Mexico are planning several projects that seek to connect both nations, growing their trade and developing the region. Last month, Guatemala President Alejandro Giammattei Falla announced his intention of linking the Mayan Train’s proposed first station in Chiapas with the project currently denominated the “Guatemala Fast Train,” reported MBN.
Giammattei said a new Mexico-Guatemala agreement will be signed before the end of 2020. He added that the project will total 164km, which will connect the Guatemalan capital city with the Mayan Train project. Moreover, this project seeks to connect with the Transisthmic project to create a greater train network between both countries, reported MBN.
Ronaldo Sánchez, Project Manager at Ferrovias Guatemala, said to T21 that the Mexican and Guatemalan market require a reactivation of transportation services. He said that to achieve an efficient and safe service it is necessary to comply with international regulations and to complete infrastructure, especially at the border. Mexico completed its infrastructure activities in 2020, while Guatemala expects to finish in 1Q21.
In an interview with MBN, Manuel Rodríguez Arregui, Founder and Director General at Ainda Energía & Infraestructura, said that to develop the region, both countries must improve connectivity, which will reduce the cost of energy by enabling better trade, especially for natural gas.
Guatemalan authorities, the Railway Transport Regulator Agency (ARTF) and the Mexican Railway Association (AMF) gathered to discuss the possibility of expanding this project to exchange goods between North and Central America. Both countries are looking for business partners and investors to complete the infrastructure project and to reactivate the exchange of goods in the short term, reported Portal Portuario.
In 2019, Guatemala and Mexico signed an agreement to have joint customs clearance, which is currently in the process of being ratified. Moreover, Sánchez said during the reunion that authorities agreed that cement, oils, flours, steel and aluminum will be the most exchanged products through this railway interconnection, reported Portal Portuario.
After the opening of the railway interconnection, the countries will look for an additional connection between Mexico and Puerto Quetzal. Sánchez said that in the first months of 2021, both countries will begin prefeasibility studies and if the project is approved its construction will begin in 2023, reported T21.