López Obrador publishes decree to resume passenger trains on seven routes in Mexico

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Mexico City, Nov 20 (EFE).- The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, published this Monday in the Official Gazette of the Federation the decree by which the passenger train service in the Mexican Railway System is declared as "priority area for national development."

On November 8, López Obrador reported that he was preparing a decree to allocate around 20,000 kilometers of railway tracks to passenger service and that are currently used by freight trains and said that he would convene, preferably, the current track concessionaires ironclad after the presentation of formal projects.

Precisely in the decree it was noted that the concessionaires of the public rail freight transport service (among them, the companies Ferromex, Kansas City Southern de México, Ferrosur and Ferrovalle) "will be the first to be invited to present the projects for the implementation of the passenger rail service".

"Interested parties must present their proposals to the Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation (SICT) no later than January 15, 2024," it was noted.

The document indicated that "the first seven routes that will be concessioned" are: México-Veracruz-Coatzacoalcos, Interurban AIFA-Pachuca, México-Querétaro-León-Aguascalientes, Manzanillo-Colima-Guadalajara-Irapuato, México-San Luis Potosí- Monterrey-Nuevo Laredo, México-Querétaro-Guadalajara-Tepic-Mazatlán-Nogales and Aguascalientes-Chihuahua-Ciudad Juárez, "and should preferably consider the stations that operated before 1995."

At a public event in Mexico City for the 113th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution, which is celebrated this November 20, López Obrador reported the decree.

"The revolution was made on rail and on horseback. This day was chosen to publish the decree that establishes the return of modern passenger train service with the use of 17,484 kilometers of railway track and facilities that were concessioned for cargo service and are now are going to be used for passenger train service.

"We made this decision because train travel will be more economical, comfortable, less polluting, the tracks can be electrified, it is safer public transportation and the mobility of the population from the main cities of Mexico to the northern border will increase," he said. .

The decree, published by the SICT, specified that on the concessioned tracks, "preference will be given to the provision of public passenger rail service and the public freight rail transport service will be respected in terms of the provisions of the respective concession."

In addition, it says that to operate passenger routes, the current concessionaires of the freight rail transportation service "will be the first to be invited to present projects for the implementation of the passenger rail service," within the routes that were granted to them. .

It was noted that in the event that the concessionaires "do not present a viable proposal in terms of investment, construction time, modernization of roads to provide passenger service or do not express their interest and acceptance within the established period", the Federal Government, through The SICT, "may grant assignment titles to the Secretariat of National Defense or the Secretariat of the Navy, which already operate the Mayan Train and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec Train.

Or, if applicable, "to individuals who present proposals and are interested in providing the passenger transportation service in terms of the provisions of the Regulatory Law of Railway Services and its regulations."

“The federal government, through the Secretariat of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation, may grant assignment titles to the Secretariat of National Defense or the Secretariat of the Navy, which already operate the Maya Train and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec Train, or where appropriate, to individuals who present proposals and are interested in providing the service,” the decree states.

The publication of the document occurs within the framework of the 150th anniversary of the installation of the first passenger railway in Mexico, started by President Benito Juárez García and completed by President Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada from Mexico to Veracruz.

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