Mexico’s president Andrés Manuel López Obrador said construction is 80% complete on the 480km stretch of the Maya train line that runs from Campeche to Cancún across the top of the Yucatán peninsula, the Mexico Daily Post reports.
Testing of the new line would start in August after the first diesel trains from France’s Alstom arrive on 8 July, he told a press conference on Monday.
Alstom Mexico managing director Maite Ramos said 10 further diesel trains with four wagons would be delivered between 23 July and 23 November.
The “Tren Maya” project is divided into five packages with a total length of about 1,500km and a total cost of $7.4bn, making it the largest publicly funded infrastructure project in recent Latin American history.
It is intended to entice tourists who come for the beaches of Cancún to venture into the Yucatán’s interior.
An estimated 27 million tourists a year arrive in the coastal resorts of Quintana Roo State, but only 2.7 million visit the Mayan sites of Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, Edzná, and elsewhere.
The 16-station railway is also intended to cut the time and cost of moving people and freight in the states of Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo.
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