Saturday, May 17, 2014

Traveling via High Speed Train from Mexico City to Queretaro, Mexico

The above article was in The News last week.  This newspaper is in English and has information from all over the country.  I read the article with great interest.

The gist of it is that the government needs to find funding;  it needs to find a manufacturer for the train itself; and then all kinds of permits and licensing would take place in order to reach completion.  Who knows how many years all of this would take?  I can't imagine that it could be ready in less then three years, if not more.

The interesting information is that it would take approximately one hour from DF to Queretaro at a cost of 300 pesos or so.  That is comparable to taking the three and a half hour  executive bus at about the same cost!

With a city of over two million, along with a growing airport that is serviced by many airlines, I could see a great usage of this train. 

Queretaro is about a 45 minute drive from here with easy bus or taxi service to San Miguel.  The train could not service San Miguel as our tracks are under contract to CSX on a multi year contract for movement of freight.

Add to this new wrinkle in making it easier to get around, a new airline started service from Queretaro in March.  The name is TAR (that is the abbreviation).  Service to Cancun is only about $77USD!   Plus it has service to the South that used to only be accessible by taking a bus to Mexico City and then a bus to your final destination or paying a fortune to fly from DF to Hualtuco, or other destinations.

The times are a'changin'!  Amazingly so.  It was only about 15 years ago that in order to get to San Miguel you HAD to go through Mexico City and then take a bus from there.  Now you still can go that route, but its easier and not necessarily more expensive, to fly in and out of Leon or Queretaro......equidistance from San Miguel - about a 45 minute shuttle ride.

Yes indeed, the infrastructure upgrades to the roads and airports begun by former President Calderone has begun to come to fruition in terms of tourism.  I read just the other day that the tourism figures for the first quarter of this year are already up 10% of people coming into Mexico.  Even more surprising was the number of tourists within country traveling to see places they have not experienced before.  As I've said in the past,  80% of the tourism in San Miguel is Mexican nationals and only about 20% is international.  A surprising statistic to many, but a valid number.

It's exciting, interesting and sometimes dismaying to see things change so rapidly!  Then again, some things don't change fast enough.  Life is interesting.


Retired Teacher said...

It will be interesting to see if this proposed project comes to fruition. There has also been talk for the last year about building a "Trans-peninsular" high speed train across the Yucatan to connect Mérida to the Caribbean.
I remember way back when there was passenger train service in Mexico. Back in the 70s I once took the train from Puebla to Oaxaca. It wasn't very pleasant and it took forever. I hope they bring comfortable, high speed train travel to Mexico. And how long will it be before we get some high speed trains in the U.S.??

Babs said...

Bill, indeed, I doubt it will happen in my lifetime, BUT, there are way more foreign companies handling the projects from concept to completion now.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Mexico's sake.
I remember the passenger trains from Laredo to SMA and El Paso to DF. Such a shame that all those rail lines were contracted with a freight carrying company. However those are money makers. Passenger service is not.
I'm betting more on Mexico at this point, then the USA due to partisan politics that seem to have everything stymied.

Droelma said...

I also remember the train from DF to MSA and took it the last time in 1992. It took almost 7 hours from DF to SMA and the train itself was really in bad shape. We took it, because train buff friends from Canada insisted. Over the last 15 years or so I have read about several " pending " train projects, but nothing ever came of it, because according to the newspapers it would just not be worth it, to develop a completely new infra structure

Babs said...

We shall await with bated breath the future of passenger train travel in Mexico!

Anonymous said...

Your point about the mix of Mexican nationals as tourists bears repeating. In San Cristobal, a huge majority of the tourists were Mexicans. We foreigners were a tiny minority.

As for the train, I'm in the "we'll see camp.". In the US people have been discussing San Fran to Los Angeles trains my entire life, but I doubt it'll happen any time soon. Passenger trains have a very tough time competing with planes and buses.


Kim G
Tehuacán, Puebla
Where there are neither planes nor trains. Only the pains of traffic.

Babs said...

Kim, when traveling from LA to Seattle last fall, I was surprised that the Amtrak that we were attached to was totally full. Travelers and business people alike. It's such a civilized way to travel. And so beautiful.
San Cristobal and Oaxaca have few tourists from the USA but more from Germany, Italy and other European countries. In fact, a strange statistic in San Christobal is that the largest number of ex-pats are Italians! Love the flavor of that town.....