TULUM, Mexico – The Tren Maya convoy, carrying President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and dubbed “the most important project in the world,” came to an unexpected halt for over an hour as it passed through Yaxcabá, Yucatán, near Chichén Itzá.
This incident followed Friday’s trials, the first day after President López Obrador’s presentation of his 5th Government Report, where the convoy endured a lengthy 10-hour journey from Campeche to Mérida, Yucatán. It departed from San Francisco station at 13:21 and arrived at Teya station at 23:25, drawing widespread criticism on social media.
On Saturday, the four carriages of the Tren Maya came to a stop around 14:46. Among the passengers were Andrés Manuel López Beltrán, the President’s son, executives from construction companies, government officials, and project directors from construction firms involved in the railway project.
“You can’t film. They are performing maintenance on the carriage,” one soldier with a covered face stated. “It will start in five minutes,” another soldier assured.
However, contrary to these assurances, the Tren Maya, a monumental project that President López Obrador aims to inaugurate in December, remained stationary for more than an hour and 15 minutes.
During this extended pause, government officials and construction company executives were seen in the driver’s cabin attempting to assist in getting the train back on track.
When reporters inquired about the cause of the delay or the reasons behind the train’s failure to restart, a man in the driver’s cabin swiftly closed the door.
Upon the report of reporters’ presence, four members of the National Guard arrived, informing them that they couldn’t remain there as it was a federal zone.
To pass the time during the lengthy wait, some of the passengers decided to take souvenir photos, including Luisa María Alcalde, Secretary of the Interior (Segob); Rosa Icela Rodríguez, Secretary of Security (SSC); Raquel Buenrostro, Secretary of Economy (SE); and the governor of Quintana Roo, Mara Lezama.
Meanwhile, other passengers sat, patiently waiting for the railway convoy to resume. Among them were Daniel Asaf, head of President López Obrador’s Aides; Javier May, Director of Fonatur and head of the Tren Maya project; Jorge Nuño, Secretary of Infrastructure, Communications, and Transportation (SICT); and Maite Ramos Gómez, CEO of Alstom Mexico.
Finally, at 16:45, the Tren Maya recommenced its journey, moving at a speed of approximately 30 kilometers per hour to reach the Chichén Itzá archaeological site, where President López Obrador led the Ceremony of Recovering the Memory and Grandeur of the Maya Civilization, a ceremony delayed due to the earlier incident.
It was at this point that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador offered apologies and justification for the delays, explaining that these halts were necessary for “thorough inspections” to ensure the train’s proper functioning.
“We apologize for the delay, but we are conducting a thorough inspection of the Tren Maya to ensure its proper operation and assess the condition of the tracks,” he stated.
In this manner, with justified delays, the Tren Maya is on track for its inauguration in December, aiming to deliver a world-class transportation system while ensuring passenger safety and operational efficiency.