Mexican President elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador recently announced a number of national development projects, including the Tren Maya, a railway that would link parts of southeast Mexico and enable tourists to discover some of the Maya World’s most important archaeological sites.
The proposed route includes Cancun and Tulum and continues south to Bacalar before turning westward to Xpujil, the stopping off point for Calakmul, Becan, Chicanna and other archaeological sites in southern Campeche. It would then continue west to Palenque in Chiapas and complete the circuit passing through Tabasco and Campeche to Merida and Valladolid, Yucatan. In the Yucatan it would follow a pre-existing rail route from Palenque to Valladolid.
A Tren Maya project linking Merida with Cancun and Playa del Carmen had been discussed by the previous administration but the new proposal is much larger and would spread the economic benefits of tourism to areas that have been off the beaten track to all but a few visitors.
The railway would carry passengers and cargo and the definitive route and financing are still under discussion. If it goes ahead, the project would take about four years to complete.