By KELIN DILLON
Mexico’s Tren Maya, spearheaded by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), will reportedly begin operation in December of 2023, said National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur) Director Rogelio Jiménez Pons.
At his press conference on the morning of Wednesday, June 9, AMLO signed a contract with the Bombardier-Alstom consortium for the construction of 42 carriages for the train, to the tune of 36.5 billion pesos.
“I am sure that they will comply with the contract by making quality, modern trains, and the estimated budget will be met,” said López Obrador. “I am sure there won’t be any extensions on the project and it will be finished on time, though it will be a challenge because we need to have the trains by 2023.”
The president stressed many jobs would be created in Mexico by the new contract, with Bombardier-Alstom’s Mexican representative Maite Ramos Gómez saying at least 4,000 direct and 7,500 indirect jobs would be produced from the carriages’ construction.
“The Tren May will reactivate the economy not only in the five southeast states where the train will run, but in all the states of Mexico where we have operations: Hidalgo, the State of Mexico (Edoméx), Mexico City, Jalisco, Veracruz, Puebla, Nuevo León, Chihuahua, among others,” added Ramos Gómez.
Bombardier-Alstom was reported just last month by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) as not having properly complied with the legal bidding rules for the project, though the Mexican government ultimately still rewarded the company the project.
The Tren Maya project has had its fair share of controversy since its conceptualization, including leaving 3,000 local families homeless in its construction and the revelation that the government poured more money into the project than it did into combatting the devastating coronavirus during 2020.