April 6, 2024
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Preserve Cancun-Tulum Stretch of Tren Maya: Protecting Cenotes, Caverns, and Subterranean Rivers

TULUM, Quintana Roo – The Tren Maya project incorporates cutting-edge engineering techniques in the construction of elevated viaducts along the Cancun-Tulum stretch, ensuring the protection of cenotes, caverns, and underground rivers. Javier May Rodríguez, the Director-General of the National Tourism Promotion Fund (Fonatur), proudly announced this significant milestone.

With a steadfast commitment to preserving the natural environment in the Cancun-Tulum stretch, the construction of these viaducts exemplifies a new era for the Tren Maya, positively impacting the southeastern region of Mexico. “These viaducts are built with utmost environmental sensibility, and there is no doubt that the Tren Maya will chart a new course for the betterment of the environment,” remarked May during the comprehensive presentation of the fifth, sixth, and seventh sections of the Tren Maya.

Among the notable developments highlighted in the report were the construction of the new Tulum International Airport and the modernization of the Chetumal airport. Additionally, the project has generated a staggering 20,000 employment opportunities within the Cancun-Tulum segment, underscoring its economic significance.

Preserve Cancun-Tulum Stretch of Tren Maya: Protecting Cenotes, Caverns, and Subterranean Rivers

The combined length of sections 5, 6, and 7 of the Tren Maya spans a remarkable 621.3 kilometers, traversing the states of Quintana Roo and Campeche. Section 5 covers a distance of 111 kilometers from Cancun to Tulum, while section 6 stretches from Tulum to Chetumal over 255.8 kilometers. Finally, section 7 connects Chetumal to Escárcega, spanning 254.5 kilometers.

The comprehensive infrastructure plan entails the establishment of eight stations and four stops across these three sections. Additionally, there will be four maintenance bases, two depots, and a workshop dedicated to servicing the trains. Moreover, the project encompasses 800 complementary structures, including bridges, drainage systems, and electrical installations. It also encompasses pedestrian, vehicular, and wildlife crossings, specifically catering to the needs of the Cancun-Tulum stretch.

May further informed that the construction in these three sections requires the supply of four million cubic meters of ballast, 1.8 million sleepers, and 121,000 tons of rail, reaffirming the scale of this ambitious endeavor.

The Director-General also confirmed that ongoing improvement work is being carried out in nine archaeological sites. Moreover, preparations are underway for the opening of other sites, such as Paamul II. Notably, two Tren Maya hotels are being constructed in close proximity to the Tulum and Calakmul sites, specifically catering to visitors of the Cancun-Tulum stretch.

Preserve Cancun-Tulum Stretch of Tren Maya: Protecting Cenotes, Caverns, and Subterranean Rivers

Passengers traveling along sections 5, 6, and 7 of the Tren Maya will have the opportunity to visit renowned destinations like Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Mahahual, and Bacalar. Additionally, they can explore captivating cenotes and archaeological sites such as Calakmul. The ongoing efforts in the Cancun-Tulum stretch remain steadfast, aiming to ensure the arrival of the first train at the Cancun workshop and depot on July 8, with the grand inauguration of the Tren Maya scheduled for December 2023.

María Luisa Albores González, the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, shared that the Tren Maya is now equipped with high-quality, environmentally responsible ultra-low sulfur diesel. The diesel will be produced at the Deer Park refinery, and the first tanker carrying the fuel arrived in May for the supply of the Tren Maya. Importantly, the diesel’s availability in Mérida and Progreso will not lead to an increase in the current diesel prices.

Diego Prieto Hernández, the Director-General of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), revealed that a total of 33,622 immovable assets have been recovered across these three sections, with the majority retrieved from section 7, representing two-thirds of the entire route and 40% of all salvaged assets from the Tren Maya construction. Prieto Hernández also highlighted the recent discovery of a stone sculpture depicting a deity of death within the Cancun-Tulum stretch, a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Preserve Cancun-Tulum Stretch of Tren Maya: Protecting Cenotes, Caverns, and Subterranean Rivers

Gustavo Ricardo Vallejo Suárez, the Chief Resident Engineer from the General Directorate of Engineers, under the aegis of the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA), provided progress updates for each section. The northern portion of section 5, spanning 43 kilometers of double-electrified tracks, viaducts, and embankments between Cancun and Playa del Carmen, has achieved a 20% completion rate across three work fronts. Meanwhile, section 6, encompassing 255 kilometers of double-electrified tracks, both embankments and viaducts, from Tulum to Chetumal, has achieved a 24% completion rate across eight work fronts. Lastly, section 7, spanning 254 kilometers of single-track from Chetumal to Escárcega, has achieved a 25% completion rate across seven work fronts.

Guadalupe Phillips Margain, the CEO of Empresas ICA, responsible for subsection C of the southern portion of section 5, from Playa del Carmen to Puerto Aventuras, reported progress rates of 20% overall, 65% in embankments, 13% in elevated viaducts, and 36% at the Playa del Carmen station.

Preserve Cancun-Tulum Stretch of Tren Maya: Protecting Cenotes, Caverns, and Subterranean Rivers

As the Tren Maya project continues to make significant strides, balancing ecological preservation, and economic development, it is poised to transform the transportation landscape of the southeastern region of Mexico. With meticulous attention to environmental concerns and impressive progress in construction, the Tren Maya paves the way for a sustainable future while celebrating the historical and natural wonders of the Cancun-Tulum stretch.


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