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Old trains finally cleared, making way for park at La Plancha

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The last of old rail cars were hauled away from La Plancha. Photo: Courtesy

Mérida, Yucatán — Several years after being ditched behind the historic railroad station, it took about a month to finally haul away 52 boxcars and 15 locomotives.

It’s an early and mighty step toward the transformation of a piece of La Plancha from a 25-acre rail graveyard to a dynamic Centro park.

Next, cranes will come to lift 10 tons of railroad tracks and other materials. Government officials told reporters that they will need another month to completely clear the parcel.

Personnel from the state government coordinated with workers from the rail line Ferrocarriles Istmo de Tehuantepec to take the heaviest and most cumbersome rail cars to the new Railway Operations Center in Poxilá, Umán.

Some rail cars may be rehabilitated for future use; others may be cleaned up and kept as exhibits, said Gustavo Baca Villanueva, director of the rail company.

Clearing the land is an important first step in reforesting La Plancha and creating a cultural infrastructure.

Some cars weighed over 40 tons and had shown deterioration, so they had to be rolled carefully on tracks no faster than 8 kilometers an hour.

Special equipment was ordered to remove the largest boxcars and locomotives.

Along with these activities, work is being prepared for the La Plancha culture and arts area, which will house la Universidad de las Artes.

Another 40 acres, closer to the train station, include railway warehouses that have yet to be relocated.

Information compiled from La Jornada Maya, Punto Medio, Diario de Yucatán

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