April 6, 2024
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All about the Mayan Train: Prices, route and inauguration

The Tren Maya is one of the current government’s mega-projects that seeks to impact the economy through tourism growth. The railway project includes five states. It is divided into seven sections, six of which cover the Yucatan Peninsula.

The route of the new tourist attraction will be approximately 1,500 kilometers long, and will pass through 40 municipalities and 181 towns in the states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo, according to Javier May Rodriguez, general director of the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur).

The tour will include, among the highlights, 46 archeological sites such as Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, Calakmul, Edzná and Palenque; 28 rural communities; 18 Indigenous Paradises; 14 Magical Towns and 6 World Heritage Sites.

Forty-two trains will be built, which together will total 219 cars that will cover the 7 sections, divided into three large zones: Jungle, Caribbean and Gulf.

  • Section 1 (Jungle One): Palenque-Escárcega (228 kilometers).
  • Section 2 (Gulf One): Escarcega-Calkiní (235 kilometers).
  • Section 3 (Gulf Two): Calkiní-Izamal (172 kilometers).
  • Section 4 (Gulf Three): Izamal-Cancún Airport (257 kilometers).
  • Section 5 (Caribbean One): Cancún Airport-Tulúm Airport (121 kilometers).
  • Section 6 (Caribbean Two): Tulúm Airport-Bacalar (254 kilometers).
  • Section 7 (Jungle Two): Bacalar-Escárcega (287 kilometers).

The 21 main stations and 14 stops will be distributed as follows:

  • Section 1: Stations (Palenque, Boca del Cerro, El Triunfo) and Stops (Tenosique, Candelaria).
  • Section 2: Stations (Escárcega, Edzná, San Francisco de Campeche) and Stops (Carrillo Puerto).
  • Section 3: Stations (Mérida, Teya, Izamal) and Stops (Mexcanú, Tixkokob).
  • Section 4: Stations (Chichén Itzá, Valladolid, Nuevo Xcán) and Stops (Xibalbá, Leona Vicario).
  • Section 5: Stations (Cancún Airport, Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Tulum Airport) and Stops (Xcaret, Puerto Aventuras, Akumal).
  • Section 6: Stations (Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Bacalar, Chetumal Airport) and Stops (Limones).
  • Section 7: Stations (Xpujil) and Stops (Conhuas, Centenario).

Mayan Train Categories

All about the Mayan Train: Prices, route and inauguration

The different sections to be covered by the Tren Maya plan, such as tourism services, local passengers and cargo transportation, will be adapted to these purposes. For example: the tourist and long distance areas will have rooms for overnight stays and restaurants with typical food from the southeast of the country.

Of the 42 locomotives, 31 will be in charge of passenger service; eight for tourist purposes and three for long distance. They will be divided into three types:

  • Xiinbal (Walking): basic passenger service. It will have panoramic windows to admire the scenery, business class seats, standard seats and cafeteria.
  • Janal (Eating): Service with various seating configurations and restaurant with food and drinks typical of the regions through which the train passes. Tables for two and four people.
  • P’atal (Stay): Designed for long distances and to enjoy the tourist and cultural sites along the route. With reclining seats and sleeping cabins with private bathroom with shower and intercom.

Ticket prices

All about the Mayan Train: Prices, route and inauguration

At the moment there are no official prices, although it is expected that the projected cost for passenger transportation will be calculated per kilometer traveled. There will be a preferential cost for local passengers and a different rate for domestic and foreign tourists depending on the service provided and the route or section(s) of interest.

The prices are approximately $50 pesos for each section for single trips in the Xiinbal service (cost for locals), as revealed last September by Rogelio Jiménez Pons, then director of the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur).

With respect to tourists, it increases, since a fare of between $800 and $1,000 pesos per leg is contemplated.

Inauguration date

All about the Mayan Train: Prices, route and inauguration

As with costs, there is no official date for the inauguration, but President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has insisted that the Mayan Train will begin operations in December 2023.

In addition, the Mexican Government contemplates starting tests in July 2023, when the first complete convoy will be delivered.

The tentative date for the start of full operations was set for December of this year.

Train service is expected to begin daily at 6:00 a.m. and conclude in the evenings between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., except for the Cancun-Tulum service, which will run until 11:00 p.m.

This is how the Mayan Train will operate

All about the Mayan Train: Prices, route and inauguration

With an average speed of 120 kilometers per hour, hybrid trains powered by electric energy and diesel-electric engines will be able to reach up to 160 kilometers per hour for passenger trains.

A 43.8% of the total section will be completely electrified and will run from Chetumal to Merida. Fonatur has indicated that in the future it could switch to hydrogen-powered locomotives.

There will be ‘short’ convoys with four cars of 98.5 meters in length, with capacity for 230 passengers and long trains of seven cars for 450 people, covering a length of 169 meters.

Design of the Mayan Train

All about the Mayan Train: Prices, route and inauguration

The structure of the trains was conceived from the figure of a jaguar, a characteristic animal of the region, “strong, elegant, skillful, fast and silent,” according to Maite Ramos Gómez, director of Alstom Mexico.

“Great attention was paid to details in the passenger cars, in the dining car, in the cabins, where the colors harmonize with the whole panoramic view, with the themes of water, natural stones and also woods,” she said.

The exterior and interior designs were conceived as a combination that highlights colors and graphic elements of the region.

The decoration of the Xiinbal cars takes elements from Mayan architecture, distinguished by carved stone pyramids and a stepped design. The recognizable colors are turquoise, white and charcoal.

With a pattern inspired by the spots of the jaguar, the most representative animal of the region, the Janal locomotives exhibit gold, chestnut and dark turquoise as main colors.

While the P’atal trains use dark blue and gold colors to represent this culture that studied the stars and developed astronomy.


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