Photo credit: The ‘Bullet Train’ by Ben Salter
Ministry of Communications has formally announced three major railroad projects: México-Toluca, Transpeninsular (Yucatán) and Light Train System for Guadalajara. The tenders are expected for first quarter of 2014 for construction and railcars.
1. The Mexico-Toluca train is set to have a maximum speed of 100 mph with a capacity of 1,400 passengers. This train will connect with Mexico City metro stations. The estimated investment amount is US$2 billions.
2. The Mérida-Playa del Carmen train is set to have 111 mph with a capacity of 1,000 passengers. The estimated investment amount is US$1.2 billions.
3. The Line 3 of Light Train System of Guadalajara is set to have 55 mph with a capacity of 500 passengers. The estimated investment amount is US$2 billion.
According to the National Infrastructure Plan for 2013-2018, Mexico moves 16% of charge and passengers through railways. This represented 108 billions of tons (12.6% from total charge) and 42 billions of passengers during 2011 (1.2% of total passengers). A total of US$86 billions was generated by railroad, but just a 7% from the total income generated in transport sector.
It is expected that by 2018, a total of 550 miles of railways are added to the infrastructure. Some projects partially unveiled are:
1. Bullet train Querétaro-Ciudad de México (passenger).
2. Lines 3 and 4 of Monterrey Metro System (passenger).
3. Train for route Aguascalientes-Jalisco (charge).
4. Beltway for Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz (charge).
5. Beltway for Celaya, Guanajuato (charge).
6. Urban station Chihuahua (charge).
7. Urban station Jalisco (charge).
8. Beltway Matamoros-US Border (charge).
9. Relocation of railway station in Durango for connecting to intermodal (charge).
Mexico has an underdeveloped train system, and has a lot of room for improvement. Certainly, these projects are very ambitious for the new administration and would attract a lot of interest worldwide.
On the other hand, Mexico has very developed road and port systems that play along with the multiple free trade agreements signed with over 45 key countries in the world. Railway is the logical expansion to serve NAFTA area and integrate a full-multimodal infrastructure.