Tren Maya Railway Project, Mexico


The Tren Maya is a 1,525 km long rail project that will link the main cities and tourist regions of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico.

Also known as the Mayan Train Project, it will significantly improve the country’s transportation and economic growth.

The railway project, which is led by the Mexican National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur), will have seven distinct sections.

Fonatur is committed to completing the first section of the intercity railway project by 2023. The project is expected to generate 4,500 direct jobs and 7,500 indirect jobs.

Background of the Tren Maya Railway Project

The Tren Maya project was launched by the Mexican government as part of the National Development Plan for 2019-2024.

This is a major tourism and transportation infrastructure initiative dedicated to the south-southeast region of Mexico.

Fonatur announced the call for tenders for the rolling stock and related equipment supply contract in May 2021.

The project aims to significantly reduce the costs of transporting passengers and goods in the region and to support industrial development.

Tren Maya Railway Project Details

The 1,525 km long railway line, divided into seven different sections, will pass through 29 stations in the five main southeastern states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo.

Mayan Train is a government priority project for passenger and freight transport, which is being developed in two phases.

The first phase of the project involving sections one to four will connect the stations from Palenque to Cancun, while the second phase involving the remaining three sections will cover the stations from Cancun to Escarcega.

The sections of the first phase will have a total length of 892 km while the sections of phase two will be 662 km long.

Rolling stock of the Mayan train project

Alstom’s new X’trapolis train for the Tren Maya will leverage the company’s manufacturing capability to produce an improved train model that will be competitive and reliable over the long term. The model has a rugged design with a modular interior and a lightweight body.

The train with a maximum speed of 176 km / h will also be equipped with the components and expertise of the previous Bombardier, including the lightweight Flexx Eco bogie.

Xiinbal, Janal and P’atal trains are designed exclusively for Mexico. The design is inspired by the Mayan culture and incorporates the lines, speed and beauty of the jaguar, which is one of the biggest cats in the world.

All three configurations will provide enough legroom in terms of seats and space to facilitate better movement inside the passenger car. In addition, each train will have sufficient luggage storage space, thanks to luggage racks adapted from Alstom’s Coradia intercity variant and vertical luggage racks in each car. The design of the train’s completely flat floor will allow passengers with reduced mobility to move around freely.

The X’trapolis will feature a high performance heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system and large windows offering panoramic views of the Mayan region.

Orders and deliveries

A consortium comprising Alstom Transport Mexico, Bombardier Transportation México, Gami Ingeniera e Instalaciones and Construcciones Urales Procesos Industriales has received a first order worth € 1.3 billion ($ 1.5 billion) for the supply of equipment rolling stock and rail systems for the Mayan Train project.

The order contains 42 passenger units which will be delivered in three different configurations, including 31 regular service trains (Xiinbal), three long-distance trains (P’atal) and eight specialty restaurants (Janal). The first units are expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2023 to begin testing the system.

The rolling stock will be manufactured at the Alstom plant in Ciudad Sahagún, Hidalgo, Mexico.

The contract also includes the design, supply and installation of the on-board technology of the European Train Control System (ETCS) and the delivery of over 1,500 km of ground equipment such as ETCS, interlocking , traffic control and telecommunications systems. The consortium will also establish repair shops and garages and provide after-sales service for the equipment.

Entrepreneurs involved

Fonatur has awarded the contract worth € 713 million ($ 865 million) for the construction of 60.3 km of electrified double rail tracks for section five of the Mayan Train line between Playa del Carmen and Tulum in Spanish infrastructure company Acciona and Mexican conglomerate Grupo México in February 2021.

The Typsa Consulting Engineering Group was retained to provide technical support, as well as project management and construction services for Sections One through Five.

The team from Renfe, DB Engineering & Consulting, Ineco and Inecomex has been selected to perform the shadow operator activities for the Tren Maya project.

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