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Tren Maya project train in Yucatan, Mexico
Image: Alstom

A dazzling new train route is set to launch in Mexico

The new Tren Maya network will connect beach resorts with ancient Mayan sites in Yucatán

Ed Cunningham
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Ed Cunningham
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Mexico is one of the world’s most mind-bogglingly diverse countries. Not only is it a huge country: it’s also home to everything from idyllic beach resorts and dense tropical jungle to towering mountain ranges and the ruins of ancient civilisations.

And soon visiting all that stuff is about to become a heck of a lot easier. A new train network called Tren Maya is set to link up legendary Mayan sites with beachside resorts, providing a new way of navigating Mexico’s many, many different attractions.

The first bit of the Tren Maya network will run from Palenque (known for its Mayan sites) to the Yucatán capital of Mérida, more Mayan ruins at Chichén Itzá and the world-famous beaches of Cancun. This part of the network began construction in 2020 and is set to begin services at the end of 2023.

The Tren Maya project features three different kids of carriages, provided by transport giant Alstom. ‘Xiinbaal’ carriages will be fitted with huge panoramic windows; ‘Janal’ coaches will be the restaurant cars; and ‘P'atal’ cars will be a bit more comfy and luxurious, designed for long-distance daytime and overnight travel.

Eventually the network will cover a whopping 1,525 kilometres and provide a variety of rail links throughout the Mexican states of Chiapas, Campeche, Tabasco, Yucatán and Quintana Roo. Later phases will link up the Palenque-Cancun route with coastal spots Bacalar and Playa del Carmen and Mayan sites at Tulum and Xpujil.

You can find out more on the official website here – and if you love both Mexico and train travel as much as us, you’ll barely be able to contain your excitement! The Palenque-Cancun part of Tren Maya is set to begin services in December 2023.

Did you see that a new night train to Venice and Croatia has just launched? 

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