The Tren Maya Playa del Carmen Station Scheduled to Begin Receiving Passengers on February 29, 2024
Table of Contents
- 1 The Tren Maya Playa del Carmen Station Scheduled to Begin Receiving Passengers on February 29, 2024
- 2 Interesting Tren Maya Stats
- 3 Tren Maya Ticketing
- 4 Infrastructure and Environmental Considerations
- 5 The Tren Maya at a Glance
The Tren Maya project is reaching a significant milestone with the opening of the passenger train route from Cancún to Playa del Carmen, which could be a pivotal development in serving the Riviera Maya’s bustling tourism sector. But will it be ready?
The completion of Tramo 5 North and the opening of the Tren Maya Playa del Carmen station represents a significant advancement in the Tren Maya’s promise to offer efficient, comfortable, and environmentally conscious travel options for both residents and tourists in southeastern Mexico.
Tren Maya Playa del Carmen Station Pre-Opening and Schedule
Scheduled for February 29, the pre-opening of Phase 3 of the Mayan Train will begin operations on Tramo 5 North, which includes the stations at the Cancun Airport, Puerto Morelos, and Playa del Carmen. This stretch, with over 45 km of electrified double track, is designed to cater primarily to the Riviera Maya tourism sector.
The passenger service will feature three daily departures from Cancún to Playa at 9:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 3:00 PM. The return trips are scheduled for 10:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 4:30 PM from the Tren Maya Playa del Carmen station to Cancun.
During President Andrés Manuel López Obrador´s morning Press Conference, it was announced that when construction is completed, Cancun Station Platforms 3 and 4 will be dedicated to the route toward Palenque with Platforms 5 and 6 for the southern route towards Playa del Carmen.
Progress was reported on the interconnection between Tramos 4 and 5 and the installation of 12 track devices to serve both sections and allow train cars to access essential maintenance workshops and garages.
It was also stated that construction at the Playa del Carmen station is nearing completion, with roofing and flooring being installed and commercial area works underway.
By the end of February, there will be seven electric shuttles offering connection services, between Cancún International Airport terminals 1, 2, 3, and 4 and the Maya Train station, ensuring convenient, comfortable and safe transfer for all passengers.
If you have been in or out of Cancun recently, you have probably seen the road construction being done for the dedicated shuttle lanes running parallel to 307.
At the moment, special buses are running the route back and forth between the airport terminals and the Tren Maya station. They are easy to spot and transfers are currently being provided free of charge.
We took a little trip to check out the state of the construction at the Tren Maya Station in Cancun and here’s what we saw.
Where is the Tren Maya Station in Playa del Carmen?
The location of the Tren Maya station in Playa del Carmen has been the subject of much scrutiny and disappointment. Many had hoped that the Mayan Train would be a feasible option for many people who travel up and down the Riviera Maya corridor every day.
Unfortunately, the location of the station combined with the fares (even for locals) makes the Maya Train prohibitive for the average working person.
The Tren Maya Playa del Carmen station is located off of Av. Louis Donaldo Colosio, just past the Villas del Sol neighborhood. The location of the station is quite far from the city center.
We have all hope that colectivos will be able to take passengers to and from the station (or very close by) but at the moment, it seems like most visitors staying in Playa del Carmen Centro or one of the Riviera Maya’s many beautiful beach resorts will be limited to expensive taxi service to access the station from their accommodations.
The cost of the taxi may negate any economic benefit gained from choosing the train over traditional private shuttle transport. In fact, the remote location of this station makes the ADO bus look even more attractive for travelers coming to Playa del Carmen and the surrounding area.
Currently, it is not possible to get up close to the Tren Maya Playa del Carmen Station but we were able to grab a few shots of the yet-to-be-completed railway lines going over the flyway and the station itself which is still very much under construction. Based on our observations, an opening date of February 29 seems ambitious.
Interesting Tren Maya Stats
- Between its inaugural trip on December 16, 2023 and January 29, 2024, the Tren Maya had completed 239 trips, covering a total of 112,465 kilometers.
- The train line has transported 37,601 guests, including local passengers, national and international travelers, as well as special segment users such as seniors, teachers, students, and those with limited mobility.
- The trains have maintained an average occupancy rate of 72%, equivalent to 157 passengers per unit, with a daily movement of approximately 917 passengers.
- The most popular Train Maya route has been from the Mérida Teya Station to the Cancún Airport Station, with 3,716 tickets sold. The second most traveled Tren Maya route has been from San Francisco Campeche to Mérida, with 3,674 tickets, and Cancún Airport to Mérida, with 3,502 tickets sold.
- The Mérida Teya station has seen the highest demand, having processed 9,704 passengers, followed by the station at the Cancun Airport, with 9,352 passengers.
Tren Maya Ticketing
After a glitchy start, a new digital ticketing website was launched on January 22, allowing users to purchase Tren Maya tickets securely online, offering both one-way and round-trip tickets, with payment options including Visa and MasterCard.
Updated Tren Maya routes can now be found on the official website. The new website also offers the current official prices for each leg of the trip.Check Tren Maya Ticket Prices Here
Tickets can also be purchased onsite at the Tren Maya station in Cancun. The major stations will all offer this functionality when they are fully up and running.
We anticipate that in the near future, a mobile app will be launched that users can use to purchase and download tickets directly to their iPhones or other devices.
Infrastructure and Environmental Considerations
At the beginning of February, Tramo 5 North was reported to be over 86% complete. This section of the train line, 45.6 km of electrified double track, features a 29.7 km elevated viaduct, allowing the passenger train to traverse delicate wetlands and allowing the passage of wildlife across previously monitored biological corridors.
In total, 271 wildlife crossings have been constructed along the path of the Tren Maya to maintain the permeability of the jungle and ensure the preservation of the area’s ecosystems. Monitoring has recorded species such as jaguars, ocelots, spider monkeys, margays, white-tailed deer, coyotes, and various tropical birds.
Other significant construction works in progress along Tramo 5 include an overpass over the Leona Vicario highway, 17 wildlife crossings, 6 vehicular crossings and the Playa del Carmen station.
The Tren Maya station in Puerto Morelos has a unique design and is being constructed as an elevated viaduct. The entire route is secured with safety fences on both sides of the railway.
The Tren Maya at a Glance
The Mayan Train (Tren Maya) is an ambitious infrastructure project spearheaded by Mexico’s President López Obrador (AMLO) and the Mexican government, aimed at boosting economic development, tourism, and social inclusion in southern Mexico.
- Purpose: The Tren Maya Project is designed to connect popular touristic destinations, archaeological zones such as Chichén Itzá, and cities in the Yucatán Peninsula, facilitating easier access for both tourists and locals. The project aims to stimulate tourism development and economic growth in one of Mexico’s most culturally rich but economically challenged regions.
- Route: Spanning approximately 1,500 kilometers (about 930 miles), the high-speed trains will traverse the states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo. This route is designed to encircle the Yucatan Peninsula, linking significant locations such as Palenque, Chichen Itza, Tulum and Mérida, among many others.
- Stations: There are plans for 20 train stations and 14 stops along the route. These stations are expected to boost local economies by providing new opportunities for businesses and services tailored to both travelers and residents.
Tren Maya Route Map
Economic and Social Impact
- Tourism: By connecting key archaeological sites and tourist destinations, the Mayan Train route is expected to significantly boost tourism in the region, bringing much-needed economic benefits to local communities.
- Job Creation: The construction and operation of this railway project are projected to create thousands of jobs, both directly and indirectly, contributing to poverty reduction in the area. The project has already generated an estimated 19,000 jobs.
- Cultural Preservation: The project also aims to promote and preserve the rich cultural heritage of the Mayan civilization and contemporary Mayan communities by making their historical sites more accessible to the world.
- Controversy: The Maya Train project has faced harsh criticism from environmental activists and some local communities concerned about its impact on the region’s unique ecosystems, including jungles, cenotes, underground rivers habitats of endangered species and other natural resources that make this region unique.
- Mitigation Efforts: The Mexican government has pledged to undertake environmental impact assessments and implement measures to minimize damage, such as rerouting parts of the track away from the most sensitive natural areas. To date, 271 wildlife crossings have been installed to preserve the Mayan jungle’s ecosystems, however, debates over the project’s environmental sustainability continue.
Current Status and Future Plans
- Construction Phases: Construction of the Mayan Train began in 2020. The project is being completed in several phases. All sections of the railway line are expected to be completed and operational by 2024, although the entire project’s timeline may shift due to various challenges.
- Investment: The Mayan Train is a major investment by the Mexican government, with costs estimated to be in the billions of dollars. Funding comes from a mix of public and private sources, including international investment.
The Mayan Train Project continues to progress, with the Playa del Carmen station nearing completion as well as the interconnection between Tramos 4 and 5. These developments underscore the Mexican government’s public commitment to enhancing transportation infrastructure and promoting sustainable tourism in the Riviera Maya region.
The Tren Maya represents a significant effort by the government to develop the southeastern region of Mexico, they are obviously struggling to balance economic growth with cultural and environmental preservation.
While the Tren Maya holds the promise of transforming the Yucatan Peninsula’s economic landscape, it also poses challenges that require careful management to ensure the negative impacts do not outweigh the potential benefits.
For more information visit the official Tren Maya website.