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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Mayan Train track change: New hope for La Plancha park

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Residents of neighborhoods surrounding La Plancha have been advocating for years that the area should be converted into a Park. Photo: Courtesy

The so-called Mayan Train won’t be rolling into the Centro after all.

Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal said that Mérida’s station stop won’t be at La Plancha. Instead, it will be built in the vicinity of Hacienda Teya, near the Mérida-Cancun highway.

Opponents also questioned the safety of allowing the train to traverse such a densely populated area. Train tracks here are at street level, intersecting dangerously with motor vehicles.

Answering that, a 2.5-mile tunnel was proposed to connect the historic downtown train station with the Periférico. The idea was ridiculed considering Mérida’s high water table that bedevils many other projects. That concept was replaced with plans for an elevated highway, which would have sliced several neighborhoods in half.

The announcement revives hopes for a large-scale “Central Park” at the old rail yard. La Plancha is the largest undeveloped parcel in the Centro and residents for years have lobbied to keep it a green space.

This is the second modification that federal authorities have made in the last few days. A plan to bring the train through Ciudad de Campeche’s downtown was also scrapped.

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