Companies interested in building the third section of the Mayan train were invited to bid by Tuesday. Photo: Sipse

Merida, Yucatan — Contractors have officially been invited to bid for the job of building the Mayan Train line between Campeche and Izamal, including a 15-kilometer branch line that reaches Merida.

The bid does not included a late-in-the-game proposal that would run the train underground from Los Héroes at the Periferico to La Plancha.

The National Tourism Promotion Fund (Fonatur) issued the international tender for the construction of the third section of the Mayan train, stretching 157.2 kilometers, from Calkiní station, in Escárcega, Campeche, to the stop at the City of the Three Cultures, Izamal.

According to the tender published in the CompraNet portal, the implementation of this section has a budget of 3 million pesos, payable in 2020.

The government tenders, which are issued gradually while the massive infrastructure project unfolds in phases, by now accounts for 629.2 of 1,452 kilometers of track.

The Union of Railroad Workers of the State of Yucatán, Section 37, headed by Ernesto Sonda Castro, said that the work will be of great benefit to the region.

“There will be thousands of workers that will be needed for that mega work. We are convinced that the impetus given to the Mayan train operation will trigger the development of the southeast of the country. This is a mystical project, which harmonizes with nature and is inclusive with the traditions and needs of indigenous peoples. In addition, it will raise the standard of living of millions of people living in communities, municipalities and entities,” said Sonda Castro.

Rail transport carries 26 percent of Mexico’s cargo, being environment friendly and economical, he said.

“The Mayan Train will serve to see us again not only businessmen, but also tourists. Europeans, for example, are accustomed to traveling by train, prefer it to the plane, since flying involves arriving hours before the airport, flight delays, and so on,” he said.

Instead, he said, with the train it only takes 15 minutes to buy a ticket and board it.

“It is a time saver and also, for example, you can get off in Cancun and tour all the beautiful places we have in the Peninsula,” said Sonda Castro.

The winning bidder will be announced May 15, and contracts will be signed 10 days after that.

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