The Tren Maya rolled into Mérida’s Teya station Tuesday at exactly 9:36 a.m., right on time.
Tickets for non-nationals currently cost MX$1,318 (about US$77) for tourist class and MX$2,091 (about US$120) for premiere class. Special fares for domestic travelers and residents of Mexico’s southeast are also available at a hefty discount.
For more information on how to get to Mérida’s Teya station check out our article on the Ie-Tram here.
Pets are not allowed on the train, though service animals with the proper documentation are.
The main difference between tourist and premiere classes is that premiere offers considerably more legroom and a box lunch upon boarding. The seats in both sections are fairly comfortable, however, they do not recline.
Sleeper cars and restaurants are yet to be added and will likely not be until sometime next year.
Although the trip was completely sold out, most seats remained empty as only a handful were sold to the public.
This is apparently because the train is still in a test phase in which operators will be slowly increasing its load.
The ride was, for the most part, very smooth and reached a maximum cruising speed of up to 76.5 mph.
But these spurts of speed were interrupted by several points when the train slowed down to practically a crawl on areas of the track still under construction.
Although the route made its way through several other stations, boarding and disembarking were not possible — as the stations were still not entirely complete.
Whenever the train approached a station, it would slow down and make a complete stop to conduct inspections. Sometimes this would only take a few minutes, but in the case of the station at Piste (Chichén Itzá), it took close to half an hour.
The length of this prolonged stop allowed a train running in the opposite direction to get by. This is because a single track services the entire route.
Once the train had reached the Cancún airport station, the trip had lasted almost 6 hours and was 1.5 hours late.
Of all the stations along the Tren Maya’s Route 1, the station at the Cancún airport is by far the least complete and is still under construction.
The station at Cancún also had a very heavy military presence, which was rather unnerving and seemed a little excessive.
The Tren Maya shows a lot of potential, but despite claims that it is fully operational, this is not the case.
The ride was pleasant, as was the staff and the seats, while not the most comfortable in the world, were certainly not bad.
The experience of traveling through Yucatán by train, especially such a modern-looking one, is quite an experience, even with all of the delays.
Each passenger on the Tren Maya is entitled to a 25kg suitcase and a couple of carry-on items. Sections for larger pieces of luggage are available at the front and back of each wagon.
But at the end of the day, the Tren Maya connection to the Cancún airport is not viable for those in a hurry or connecting flights, as delays are likely to continue to be a reality for several months at the very least.