Mexico’s ambitious Maya Train, a 1,500-km (932-mile) railway traversing the Yucatán Peninsula, has finally rolled into motion.
As of today, 300 miles of the planned 600-mile railroad are operational, with the remaining sections expected to be completed by February’s end.
While construction began in 2020, only the Campeche-Cancún section is currently functioning. The full Maya Train, upon completion, promises a spectacular journey for travelers.
— Tren Maya (@TrenMayaMX) December 31, 2023
Starting at Cancún International Airport, the railway meanders southwest towards Palenque, allowing visitors to easily explore the Caribbean coastline’s popular tourist hotspots, including Cancún, Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen and Tulum.
The railroad also traverses charming towns like Calkiní and Izamal, offering glimpses into local life and cultural heritage.
Completing the Maya Train might come at a steep price for Mexico. The project surpassed its initial budget of US$8.6 billion, with officials estimating a potential final cost of US$28 billion. Additionally, environmental concerns surround the construction, as thousands of threes were cut to clear a path for the tracks.
However, proponents of the project highlight its potential benefits. The United Nations predicts that the Maya Train could ultimately lift over a million people out of poverty, boosting local economies and fostering sustainable development.