Work begins on the Mayan Train’s Tulum-to-Bacalar route

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
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.
With only 16 months to go before the Mayan Train reaches its deadline, skepticism continues to mount. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Work on Mayan Train’s eastern Quintana Roo route has officially kicked off.

The 315-mile stretch is the most expensive of the entire rail network, taking up just over 72% of its entire budget. 

However, actual construction is yet to begin as the environmental assessment on the environmentally sensitive Tulum-to-Bacalar route is yet to be finalized. 

With only 16 months to go before the Mayan Train’s deadline, skepticism surrounding the project abounds.

“Honestly, we are looking at somewhere between eight and 10 more years. The thing is that this should not come as a surprise as it’s what we have known since the beginning. We had auditors come from Spain and that’s the timeline they gave us,” said an anonymous source working on the Mayan Train

Though the Mayan Train will not have a passenger station in Chetumal, the city is slated to be connected to the rail network as the site of the project’s main maintenance and repair center. 

Earlier: Chemax protestors barricade Mayan Train construction site

There is also a growing concern that a Mayan Train station in Bacalar would have a detrimental effect on its famous ‘seven-color lagoon

The official approval rate for the Mayan Train project has proven to hover around 80%. But these numbers come from the government, or pollsters paid directly by the government. 

In reality, opinion is much more divided, with many — including many of the president’s supporters — arguing that the project is an unrealistic pipe dream. 

Adding to the skepticism was last month’s announcement that the rail network would be expanded to run through Umán and the port city of Progreso

The Mayan Train route is to span Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo.

The rail line is designed to stimulate tourism in the region and contribute to the economic development of southeastern Mexico.

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