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Maya Train rails arrive in Progreso from China as new concerns loom

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
The first of 14 expected container ships carrying rails for the Maya Train arrive in Progreso. Photo: Courtesy

The first shipment of rails for the Maya Train arrived Monday from China.

The load weighed in at 7,005 tons and was only the first of 14 expected shipments that will deliver an estimated 150,409 tons of material to Progreso’s port.

The rails are to be delivered across southeastern Mexico for installation, but authorities have not specified when they will be laid.

Critics of the Maya Train have expressed concerns regarding the quality and safety of the project, especially after the collapse of the L12 subway line in Mexico City that killed 24 and injured dozens. 

ICA, the company responsible for the construction of the faulty L12 subway line in Mexico City, is also working on the Maya Train in Yucatán and Quintana Roo.

There is also a growing concern that the project may not be completed by the end of President López Obrador’s term in office. 

Earlier: Tren Maya will use solar power under new green-energy approach

“It is unlikely that the project will be complete by the time the president’s term is up,” said Héctor Ovalle of Coconal construction in a video conference call with Mexico’s college of civil engineers. 

It has been widely speculated that if this were to happen and the opposition were to win the presidency, the project would likely be scrapped or drastically cut back.

The Tren Maya has been described by opposition leaders as an overly expensive and unnecessary vanity project.

President Andrés Manuel Lopéz Obrador proposed the Tren Maya, or Mayan Train, as a candidate and has worked to see one of Mexico’s grandest infrastructure projects through. Photo: File

Changing project timelines and a series of legal setbacks have caused the Maya Train budget to inflate well over 30% to 180 billion pesos.

The Maya Train seeks to connect southeastern Mexico by rail and carry both passengers and cargo.

The project is slated for completion by 2023, according to official government sources. 

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