The Mayan Train Project
This is a railway project that will connect five states in Mexico’s southeast, covering a distance of approximately 1 500 kilometers (932 miles): Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo. The train will offer three types of services: passenger train, tourist train and cargo train. At this time, the project is promoted by the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador and is expected to start operating in December 2023.
What are the benefits of the Mayan train?
In this case, the Mayan train aims to boost the socioeconomic development and sustainable tourism of the region. It will link the most important cities and areas of tourist interest in the Yucatan Peninsula. Without a doubt, the train will provide a new way to explore the vibrant culture and stunning landscapes of Mexico. Some of the attractions that will be accessible by the train include 14 “Pueblos Magicos” (Magical Towns), 6 World Heritage Sites and 50 archaeological sites.
Additionally, the train will facilitate the transport of goods through the Mexican southeast, saving costs, delivery times and environmental impact. Thankfully, the train will also generate employment opportunities and social benefits for the local communities along the route.
What are the Features and Amenities?
The Mayan train will feature 42 X’trapolis trains, electric trains that will have a distinctive design for Mexico, with a capacity of 300 passengers per car. The trains will have three classes: regional, tourist and long distance.
The regional class will function as a means of transportation between nearby cities and allow easy movement for both local and foreign passengers. The tourist class will have a unique design and its route will cover archaeological zones, magical towns and beach destinations of tourist interest. The long-distance class will provide seats with reclining backs and lounging cabins, specially designed for long-distance travel.
In addition to, these trains will also have Wi-Fi service, air conditioning, luggage storage, restrooms, security cameras, vending machines and information screens. The trains will be accessible for people with disabilities and will have spaces for bicycles and pets.
How Much will the Train Cost?
Official prices are still pending, but the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur) stated previously that tourists would pay between 40- 50 dollars; about 800-1,000 pesos. The fare will depend on the distance traveled and will vary for local, domestic and foreign passengers, with locals paying the lowest rate.
You can buy tickets for the Mayan train at the ticket office of any station or stop, online on the website or the Tren Maya App. For more up-to-date details, you can visit the official Facebook Page and Tren Maya Website.
What is the Route of the Mayan train?
At this time, the Mayan Train railway line will depart from Palenque, in Chiapas, and heads northeast towards Cancún, in Quintana Roo, as well as the two routes that skirt the peninsula. The project consists of seven sections that are being built simultaneously by different companies. The sections are:
1: Palenque – Escárcega
2: Escárcega – Calkiní
3: Calkiní – Izamal
4: Izamal – Cancún
5: Cancún – Tulum
6: Tulum – Bacalar
7: Bacalar – Escárcega
The 20 stations and stops along the route.
Each one with a different theme and design inspired by the local culture and nature. Some of the main stations are:
Palenque; will be located near the archaeological site of Palenque, one of the most impressive Mayan cities in Mexico. The station will have a circular shape that evokes the astronomical observatory of Palenque.
Mérida; the capital of Yucatán and one of the most beautiful colonial cities in Mexico. The station will have a modern design that contrasts with the historical center of Mérida.
Chichén; one of the new seven wonders of the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The station will have a pyramidal shape that resembles the famous Temple of Kukulkan.
Cancún; one of the most popular beach destinations in Mexico and the world. The station will have a tropical design that reflects the Caribbean atmosphere of Cancún.
Tulum; a town that combines the charm of a Mayan archaeological site with the beauty of a turquoise sea. The station will have a minimalist design that integrates with the natural environment of Tulum.
Mainly, the Mayan train will operate from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and will have a frequency of one train every 15 minutes. Overall, the trains will travel at an average speed of 160 km/h (99 mph) and will take about 10 hours to complete the entire route.
The Visionary Project
Above all, the Mayan train is a visionary project that will transform the southeast of Mexico into a more connected, prosperous and sustainable region. It will also offer a new way to discover the rich and diverse heritage of the Yucatan Peninsula. If you are planning to visit Mexico soon, don’t miss the opportunity to hop on the Tren Maya and enjoy an incredible adventure!