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Gov. Jose Calzada Rovirosa and Secretary Gerardo Ruiz Esparza
Gov. Jose Calzada Rovirosa and
Secretary Gerardo Ruiz Esparza

On August 16, Mexican Secretary of Communications and Transport (SCT) Gerardo Ruiz Esparza and Governor Jose Calzada Rovirosa of the State of Querétaro announced the tender for a high-speed passenger rail line between Mexico City and  Querétaro, a city of one million people 218 km. northwest of Mexico City. There are five or six potential bidders, and the bids are expected in four months.

The cost of the project is estimated at $3.2 billion. The train will travel at 300 km./hour, making the travel time 58 minutes. The one-way fare is expected to be $24. Trains will run every 20 minutes during rush hour, every hour at other times. The project will generate 20,000 direct jobs. The service should be in operation in 2017; the first segment of the high-speed rail line in California probably won't carry its first passenger until 2022.

Artist's conception of Mexican high-speed trains
Artist's conception of Mexican high-speed trains

The specific route will be from the Buenavista Metro Station in Mexico City, along or near the Kansas City Southern right-of-way, to the Calesa area of  Querétaro, near Avenida Bernardo Quintana.

This is one of three current high-speed rail projects in Mexico. Construction on the Mexico City-Toluca line started in July. A Yucatan Peninsula route from Merida to Punta Venado should be in operation in 2018. (The Yucatan Peninsula project is less ambitious; trains on that line will run at 160 km./hour.) Discussions are under way to extend the Mexico City- Querétaro line to Guadalajara, Mexico's second-largest city, in one direction, and León in another. The line to  León could eventually be extended to Monterrey, Mexico's third-largest city.

High-speed rail routes in Mexico
Routes discussed in this article. Black = done deals, blue = future, dashed blue = distant future

This diary also published here.

Originally posted to Mexican Kossacks on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 07:40 PM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots.

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