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High speed rail: Mexico to Queretaro

Monday, August 11, 2014

Mexico next week will issue tenders for a 300-kilometer-per-hour passenger train, which connects the capital with the city of Queretaro.

The project, which will likely cost around $400 million, will eventually extend as far as Monterrey.

Two other lines would link Mexico City with Toluca and Guadalajara.

The initial phase involves five tenders for civil works, according to the Communications and Transport Secretariat.

The connection between the Federal District and Queretaro is supposed to be operational by 2016.

However, the project first needs to expropriate 100 kilometers of right-of-way.

Existing tracks, mainly used to freight traffic, will not support high-speed train traffic.

The project includes 37 overpasses and 11 tunnels over a distance of 210 kilometers, the first 90 of which would use an existing suburban line, with a maximum speed of 100 kilometers per hour.

The train would reach its top speed over the remaining distance, with the result that the time for total trip would be as little as 90 minutes, depending on the number of intermediate station stops.

Bus travel between the two cities typically takes at least three hours.

Canadian railcar maker Bombardier has a Mexican operation, as does Germany’s Siemens, a leading producer of electric engines and systems.

A return on investment would come from fares paid by passengers, who would make some 6 million trips per year, based on current demand.

The southern terminal would be the Suburban Line’s Buenavista Station, which in addition is connected to the Metro and the Metrobus.