A few days before the national consultation on November 24 and 25 to ask Mexicans, among other things, if they supports the construction of the Maya Train project, the next general director of the National Fund for Tourism Promotion (Fonatur), Rogelio Jiménez Pons, confirms , in an interview with EL UNIVERSAL, that the work includes a second train – a hydrogen train – that would enter the ecological reserve of Calakmul.
An environmentally-friendly hydrogen-powered train could operate on one section of the new Yucatán peninsula railroad proposed by the incoming federal government, according to the future tourism official.
Jiménez Pons is considering running a non-polluting hydrogen train on a section of the Maya train that will enter the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve in Campeche. He said that a biologist from Calakmul proposed the hydrogen train idea to him four months ago.
The Maya Train and its 1,500 kilometers of extension are divided into three routes. The Gulf section, which departs from Palenque, with a stop in Tenosique, in the state of Tabasco, passing through Escárcega and Campeche, in the state of Campeche; continuing north towards Maxcanú, Mérida, Izamal and Valladolid, in the state of Yucatán, and finally going east to Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Bacalar in the state of Quintana Roo.
“The jewel in the crown”, in the words of Jiménez Pons, is Calakmul, a municipality located in Campeche, which has an archaeological zone and a Biosphere Reserve of enormous value, both tourist and environmental.
Calakmul for us is the jewel in the crown, and we have to take care of it. The right of way to be used, according to the executive project, is by road or high-voltage lines. In both rights of way, there is no forest, these are practically bare areas. In fact, we have months talking with the community, sitting with managers of the reserve, environmental groups and activists, who have helped a lot and have done an exemplary job, protecting this Biosphere Reserve.
Therefore, part of this megaproject includes another small hydrogen train.
Regarding the whole project, Jiménez Pons pointed out that 60% of the tracks on which the Maya Train will run already exist and said that no new permits are required to use them.
In December, repair work on the existing tracks will begin and the new government will open an international tendering process to build the section between Cancún and Escárcega and Izamal and Cancún, he explained, adding that an environmental impact assessment will follow.
The project, which will link cities in the states of Yucatán, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Chiapas and Tabasco, is expected to be completed in four years at a cost of between 120 billion and 150 billion pesos (US $5.9 -$7.4 billion).
TYT Newsroom with information from yucatan.com.mx