February 13, 2014

Mexico to invest $US 9.4bn in passenger and freight rail

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Mexico to invest $US 9.4bn in passenger and freight rail Keith Fender

MEXICO's Transport and Communications Ministry (SCT) has announced plans to invest at least Pesos 125bn ($US 9.4bn) in 13 passenger and freight railway projects.

According to BN Americas, SCT rail director Mr Carlos Almada made the announcement at the ExpoRail 2014 conference held this week in Cancún. He says the proposed projects include the Mexico City -Toluca, Mexico City - Querétaro, and Yucatán peninsula passenger projects at a cost of Pesos 95bn.

Long-distance passenger services all but disappeared in Mexico following the privatisation of the national railway during the 1990s and the failure to set up a government-operated passenger service akin to Amtrak in the United States.

These investments are considered a major step towards reintroducing passenger trains, while a further Pesos 30bn will be spent on improving railfreight infrastructure. This includes enhancements to the Aguascalientes - Guadalajara line, which includes the construction of Manzanillo tunnel that will double freight capacity to 4 million TEUs and reduce the distance between Manzanillo and Altamira by 200km, or 16 hours.

Other projects include the Coatzacoalcos, Celaya and Matamoros bypasses, which will increase line speeds, and in Coatzacoalcos will divert transport of hazardous materials away from the city centre.

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