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This Is When Mexico’s Maya Train Will Launch And How Much Tickets Could Cost

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The Maya Train, Mexico's largest infrastructure project in the last decade, has finally got a launch date, as well as a rough estimate of how much one-way tickets could cost, despite the legal challenges and numerous setbacks it continues to face during construction. According to local authorities, the new attraction will set out on its debut journey later this year.

Young Woman Looking Happy Looking Out The Window As She Rides A Train In An Unspecified Location

For years, the scenic train has been at the center of public attention in Yucatan, the scenic peninsula it will traverse. It is expected to link all of the region's main tourist destinations as part of a single, well-developed intercity transport for the first time in History, including coastal resorts like Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen, as well as lesser-known gems inland.

Americans who will be traveling to the Riviera Maya next winter could be among the first to trial the new service:

Maya Train Is Making Its Debut This December

Young Backpacker Holding Her Coffee As She Waits For Her Train To Arrive To The Station, Unspecified Location

As confirmed by Óscar Lozano, the project's Director, the Maya Train is making its inaugural journey on December 1, 2023, as all parties involved are ‘committed' to starting operations ahead of the high season. The Mayan Riviera's busier period for tourism begins in early to mid-December, coinciding with the Northern Hemisphere winter.

Last year, Cancun set a new record by hosting alone 30 million guests, with sunseekers looking to escape the cold making up a majority of those flocking to its pristine beaches. Once the train launches, traveling along the Riviera and even exploring unruffled beaches off the beaten path will become much easier.

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Young Smiling Couple Checking A Map In A Train Station Ahead Of Boarding, Unspecified Location

In total, the rail will extend for an impressive 1,554 kilometers, with trains calling at 34 stations across five different states. You read that right: Quintana Roo is not the only territory served by the megaproject; it also reaches destinations in Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche, and the neighboring state of Yucatan, where the fast-growing colonial-era city of Merida is located.

Prior to the official launch on December 1, some test journeys will precede it, and they could begin as early as September 24, when construction is set to finish. The Cancun Sun reports that the train will travel 15,00 kilometers on this initial ride for testing, whooshing past the white sand beaches and crossing Mexico's untouched jungle landscapes, ensuring the system is fully operational.

Beautiful Panorama Of White Sand Beach In The Mexican Riviera, Mexico, Latin America

One Of The Safest Transport Modes In Mexico

Additionally, the Government is investing massively on passenger security: earlier this year, it was announced police officers would be deployed to train stations to keep passengers safe, particularly on busier routes like Cancun-Tulum, or Cancun-Merida, where a heavy concentration of tourist traffic is expected, besides air and land surveillance, and overflights of drones and aircraft.

The goal is not only to keep the tracks clear of bandits but also to monitor archaeological zones in the area. The Maya Train will shoot past numerous ancient ruins, with Tulum, Calakmul, Palenque, and the monumental Chichen Itza, to name a few. The operations are a response to the public outcry regarding environmental safety and protection of heritage sites:

A Crowd Of Tourists Gathering At The Bottom Of The Chichen Itza Pyramid In Quintana Roo, Mexico

In the early stages, several activist groups opposed the construction of the railway citing environmental concerns, leading the project to be paused a number of times and even face legal challenges, which have since been addressed. Luckily, criticism has been taken into account, and in a recent press conference, officials confirmed more than 60% of the controversial section 5 would be built as a viaduct.

This will avoid disturbances to the fauna and flora and on top of that, offer visitors a breathtaking panorama of the rivers, flooded caverns, and open-air cenotes below. The Tren Maya itself has been promoted as more eco-friendly than most trains, using 10 parts per million of sulfur to run as opposed to the usual 500 parts per million.

Traveler Admiring Landscapes From Train, Unspecified Location

Trains will leave each station every two hours, from 6 am to 10 pm, boosting connectivity across the Yucatan Peninsula and modernizing the transport system in Mexico, which has infamously consisted of unreliable, not-so-comfortable buses. Further development of tourist sites is on the cards, too, with the opening of at least six new hotels in close proximity to ancient ruins served by the train.

How Much Could Tickets Cost?

An American Citizen Holding A US Passport With Dollar Bills Inside

A 2018 estimate by Fonatur, Mexico's National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, suggested the starting price for Train Maya tickets would be 60 Mexican pesos for locals and approximately 80 Mexican pesos for visitors. Rogelio Jiménez Pons, director of Fonatur, confirmed himself tourists could pay up to ‘ten times more' than residents.

Tickets will be available for purchase online, through the Tren Maya app, or at any of the stations and official ticket offices once the train launches officially. So far, official fares have not been announced, though they will probably vary depending on the level of comfort, type of passenger (whether they are Mexicans or foreigners), age, and employment status.

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Jennifer

Saturday 4th of March 2023

I believe the information you are posting about the Maya Train construction is entirely false and misleading. Having recently seen evidence of the construction from Cancun to Merida, it would appear to require an act of God for this to be completed by the end of September. Further, to say that In the early stages, “the environmental concerns been addressed” and “criticism has been taken into account”, is from everything I have read on this subject, is utter nonsense. The government has simply overruled serious negative environmental assessments and is forcing this project to go ahead. There are even grave concerns about the fragmented limestone structure of the ground being able to support a train. Having just spent 5 weeks in the Yucatan, the environmental impacts of unregulated tourism - Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel are already shockingly evident - and it it hard to image there will be much “pristine” or protected left as a result of this project. Sadly your site appears to be simply promoting tourism at all costs (in other posts as well) with no consideration as to the impact on the environment. Having read this post, I will delete my subscription. Not worth my time and certainly not what our poor degraded planet needs.

Yves Delage

Sunday 2nd of July 2023

@Nicolas, You are totally wrong. According to Wikipedia, Merida is 12th. If you go to each cities, Monterey metropolitan area has a population of 5,341,171, Guadalajara is at 5,268,642 and Merida is at 1,316,090 way down the list.

Nicolas

Saturday 29th of April 2023

@Jennifer, You are 100% correct, this is a Mexican government sponsored PUFF piece full of inacuracies. 80 MXN is ridiculous for a $20 billion project. In addition the train doesn't go to Merida (Mexico second largest city) but to a small town about 67km away in the small (really small) town of Teya...population of 2,000 (not a typo), about an hour drive. Finally, the builders have run out of track bed agregate.