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Cancun-Palenque Maya train talks officially begin

Cancun, Q.R. — Talks regarding the upcoming Maya train have officially begun in Cancun.

The director of the Strategic Projects Agency of Quintana Roo, Eduardo Ortiz Jasso, met with the next director of the National Fund for Tourism Promotion, Rogelio Jiménez Pons, in what is officially the start of the first stage for the Peninsular Southeast Train project.

Rogelio Jiménez Pons is in charge of developing the Maya train, as it’s been nicknamed, that will depart from Cancun and pass through the international airport, and in time, will run through Tulum and Punta Venado before crossing to Calakmul in Campeche.

The end of the project will see the train pass through other towns in the south of Tabasco until arriving at Palenque, Chiapas. The entire project is expected to be complete in 2022.

The Strategic Projects Agency of Quintana Roo has already been working on the project for a year-and-a-half under the direction of state governor, Carlos Joaquín González. They confirmed that advances have been made in both the route alternatives and the federal requirements for rights of way. There have also been financial advancements, they say.

Eduardo Ortiz stressed that from the beginning, the objective was to consolidate Quintana Roo as one of the five most important economic states in the country. Now, with the expanded project, the state will be the international gateway to more states in Mexico.

Personnel working on the project are in the process of designing alternative layouts, construction systems and construction stages as well as the responsibilities and co-responsibilities between the federal and state governments.

They said that later, they will evaluate technology alternatives, operation and maintenance of the train, work that will take about four months.

The goal, said Eduardo Ortiz, is to integrate the vision of both levels of government and join efforts to make the project a reality for the benefit of the development of the state while respecting the environment.

The vision of president-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, is to have the Maya train integrate, for the first time, regional tourism in a sustainable manner that benefits the sector and especially the local population of Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco and Chiapas.

“We have already had several meetings regarding the project,” Rogelio Jiménez confirmed, adding that when he met with Carlos Joaquín González, he reiterated his willingness to help it become a reality in the section corresponding to Quintana Roo.

The project was already qualified as priority and urgent by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who says that the federal capital to be contributed is included among his government’s seven priority projects that together, will be an investment of 500 billion peso.

Ortiz says that the project has drawn the interest of a profiled Japanese railway company as well as European and Canadian businessmen. In the meantime, they will continue working with the Ministry of Communications and Transportation to meet the railway requirements.

Once that study has been drawn up and the tender finalized, the work should be started within six months. The announcement of the much-talked-about “bullet train” was made early in July.