January 30, 2013

Agreements signed on Mexican passenger projects

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MEXICAN transport minister Mr Geraldo Ruiz signed a cooperation agreement on January 28 with the governor of the state of Querétaro, Mr Jose Calzada, to advance plans for a new passenger railway between Mexico City and Querétaro.

Ruiz confirmed during the signing ceremony that economic, technical, and environmental studies are underway, and the government is considering three potential options for the project: modernisation of the existing 245km line, building of a completely new line, or a combination of existing and new-build construction. Services will operate at 160-180km/h with a journey time of less than two hours.

A similar agreement was signed in Merida, Yucatán, on January 25 to construct a new line from Merida to Puerto Venado in the neighbouring state of Quintana Roo, and upgrade the existing railway between Valladolid and Merida. The Federal government has already allocated $US 2.32m for studies on the 278km line, which will be used by both freight and passenger trains and designed for operation at speeds of up to 180km/h.

Both projects were announced by Mexico's newly-elected president Mr Enrique Peña Nieto at his inauguration last month.

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