Mexico’s major Tren Maya (Mayan Train) project will now only be fully opened in June according to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who blamed the country’s upcoming elections for the delay.

The government had initially been hoping to inaugurate the full line at the end of February, after the first section opened in December 2023, but will now only be opening section 5 between Cancún airport and Playa del Carmen on 29 February with the date for remaining two sections yet to be announced. 

According to Riviera Maya News, President López Obrador spoke to reporters at Calakmul, Campeche and said the inauguration would “happen in parts” adding “but once the elections are over … yes, yes, yes, we will be able to inaugurate.” 

The authorities responsible for Tren Maya said that construction of the 45.6km section 5 was 87% complete with work also continuing on sections 6 and 7, which will see the line connect its loop to Escárcega. 

Despite controversy during its construction, with criticism from environmental and indigenous groups about its impact on the surrounding area, and delays to its full opening, the project’s first month of operations has been celebrated by authorities which claimed that it has already welcomed more than 37,000 passengers. 

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By GlobalData

While tourism was one of the primary focuses for the project, Tren Maya reported that the vast majority of passengers to have used the service so far were from Mexico, including at least 14,000 from the local area, 15,000 from the country, and 1,200 from abroad. The other 6,000 passengers bought concession tickets.