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International Railroad Discussion > Tren Maya (Mexico)

Date: 03/16/23 18:12
Tren Maya (Mexico)
Author: dwatry

We recently spent 2-1/2 weeks in the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico), and had the opportunity to see a lot of construction on the new Tren Maya system.  Information is rather spotty on exactly what the system will be, but the basics are that it is an approx 1000-mile new system of rail throughout Yucatan, Campeche and Quintana Roo states, serving many points of tourist interest such as Palenque, Campeche, Merida, Chichen Itza, Cancun, Uxmal, and Bacalar.   As far as I can tell, it is being built in 7 sections, all simultaneously.  We saw much of the construction, which is fairly advanced in places.  The alignments are mostly NOT the old FUS alignments, but rather new alignments parallel to the Federal road system, and stations will largely be located outside of the city centers.   Some sections are planned to be electrified, such as Merida-Cancun.  My understanding is that Tren Maya will run both passenger and freight trains, with a connection to the rest of the Mexican rail system at Palenque.  It's unclear to me how industries on the old FUS system will be served, many of which still have stranded freight cars from when the Yucatan system was embargoed a few years ago.   Here are some shots of what we saw:

1)  Vossloh G-2000-BB locomotive on a ballast train near Tenabo, Campeche.  The crane equipment in the foreground is for transferring rail from the trucks that bring it to the construction site, and loading it on the railcars that will lay the rail.
2)  Alignment under construction in Santa Cruz, Campeche, which is on the Merida-Campeche segment.
3)  Viaduct constructed on the bypass around Campeche.  Viaduct is approx one kilometer long.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/16/23 18:12 by dwatry.

Date: 03/16/23 18:20
Re: Tren Maya (Mexico)
Author: dwatry

The next set of shots were from a moving car along Federal Highway 180D between Merida and Piste (Chichen Itza) in Yucatan.  This segment is part of the Merida-Cancun segment of the system.  Here the Tren Maya alignment is being built on what used to be the eastbound carriageway of the dual carriageway highway.   So the alignment was already graded for them!  This part of the system will be double-track and electrified.

4)  Trackmobile shunting some ballast hoppers.
5)  View of alignment with electrification masts in place.
6)  More ballast hoppers with pile of ballast behind.

Tren Maya has ordered rolling stock from Alstom, which will be manufactured in Mexico at Alstom's Sahagun plant. 

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 03/16/23 19:41 by dwatry.

Date: 03/16/23 20:54
Re: Tren Maya (Mexico)
Author: tomstp

Looks like pretty large rail.  133 or 136 Lb ?

Date: 03/17/23 14:43
Re: Tren Maya (Mexico)
Author: NMlurker

Thanks for posting. I had no idea this was going on.

Date: 03/17/23 14:56
Re: Tren Maya (Mexico)
Author: ts1457

NMlurker Wrote:
> Thanks for posting. I had no idea this was going
> on.

Same here. I thought the project was still in the talking stage.

Very impressive!

Date: 03/17/23 16:42
Re: Tren Maya (Mexico)
Author: dwatry

First segments are supposed to open in December 2023 if they keep to the schedule.

Date: 03/18/23 08:58
Re: Tren Maya (Mexico)
Author: LTCerny

This will be the newest geographical extension of the contiguous North American rail network since 1979, when the line to Lazaro Cardenas (now KCS) was completed.  Before that, IIRC, it was the extension to the Great Slave Lake in Canada in 1964.

Date: 03/18/23 09:08
Re: Tren Maya (Mexico)
Author: cutboy1958

Thanks. Had  no  idea!!  Now  I  need  to  get  out  a  map!!

Date: 03/18/23 09:35
Re: Tren Maya (Mexico)
Author: dan

china financing?

Date: 03/18/23 11:53
Re: Tren Maya (Mexico)
Author: dwatry

I believe it is being largely financed by a hotel tax in Yucatan, Campeche and Quintana Roo states.  So Americans and other foreigners going to Cancun for vacation are paying for it!  Seems apprppriate!  I think of the 7 segments they are building, a Chinese contractor is only involved in one, and they are not buying CRRC rolling stock, so I would guess there is not Chinese funding in this. 

Date: 03/20/23 09:26
Re: Tren Maya (Mexico)
Author: usmc1401

The locomotive in the first picture shows European style couplers. Why would they use this in Mexico.

Date: 03/20/23 09:34
Re: Tren Maya (Mexico)
Author: NSDTK

That entire consist is European, Probably belongs to a contractor. 
usmc1401 Wrote:
> The locomotive in the first picture shows European
> style couplers. Why would they use this in Mexico.

Date: 03/20/23 13:12
Re: Tren Maya (Mexico)
Author: dwatry

I think NSDTK is right - these locos and cars belong to a contractor.  We saw a couple more of these locos but couldn't get close enough to photograph. 

Date: 06/12/23 06:55
Re: Tren Maya (Mexico)
Author: railadventures

Tren Maya is being built by the Chinese, probably with funding from the Chinese goverment, as is going on with transportation and port projects around the world.


Tren Maya is now under the control of the Mexican Army


The route is completely isolated from the rest of the Mexican rail network, as it originates in Palenque.  While the original rail line from Palenque to Veracruz remains, it is barely operable and will not provide passenger service to other parts of Mexico.  Tren Maya is largely a replacement for buses and tour vans between the resort destinations and the Mayan Ruins.  It will provide Mexicans with local access within the Yucatan but access to the rest of Mexico is probably a decade or more away.

Check Google Earth and you will see that the majority of the route from Palenque to Merida is just graded right-of-way from the original railroad with some bridge for highway crossings under construction.  The claim that service will begin by the end of 2023 is a fantasy, except for perhaps a short demonstration section.


Date: 06/14/23 19:44
Re: Tren Maya (Mexico)
Author: portlander

Interesiting that there's some Google Street View of the Tren Maya taken from a hi-rail.


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