The case of the Mexico-Toluca Interurban Train

The Mexico-Toluca Intercity Train will connect the country's capital with the Toluca Valley in the State of Mexico, from Metro Observatorio to Zinacantepec. Once completed, it will transport 234,000 passengers every day in just 39 minutes.

The case of the Mexico-Toluca Interurban Train
Modern design of the Interurban Train Mexico-Toluca.

The great urban growth between Mexico City and the metropolitan area of the Toluca Valley in the last decades, generated a logical increase in the number of trips or transfers of its inhabitants, always lacking an organized public transportation system, and an adequate infrastructure to solve it.

This led to inefficient, delayed, and unsafe trips, as well as high vehicle operating costs. In this context, a double challenge arose: to develop the infrastructure for mobility and to recover the use of the passenger train in Mexico.

Urban mobility between the cities of Toluca and Mexico City is characterized by having very few accesses (a couple of highways; toll and free), which means that their roads are saturated with numerous automobiles and vehicles that emit polluting gases, noise, and vibrations, causing damage to the natural environment.

Since 1984, studies have been carried out to understand the mobility problems between both capitals, the result of which led to the urgent need to carry out a project that would make it possible to solve the interurban problem with an order, sustainability, and harmony for both cities: an electric train.

The work began in 2015 but was never completed. It is one of the many unfinished works left by previous administrations. Andrés Manuel López Obrador gave specific instructions to fulfill the task of finishing them; this is the case of the great work of the Interurban Train Mexico-Toluca. Traveling by train will once again be part of the daily lives of Mexicans, as it was more than forty years ago, and will respond to public demand.

The government is taking charge of this great work together with the government of Mexico City and the State of Mexico. This all-electric, high-speed (160 km/hour) means of transportation, consisting of 30 five-car trains, the first of its kind in Latin America, will make the trip between its terminals (Zinacantepec and Observatorio) in only 39 minutes. It is important to point out that this project will reduce the use of 13 thousand vehicles per day, which avoids the emission of pollutants and protects the environment.

Bringing the inhabitants of the capital of the State of Mexico closer to the big city -and vice versa- undoubtedly contributes to their well-being. To achieve greater coverage and generate greater territorial connectivity, the Mexico-Toluca Interurban Train responds to a clear public policy that benefits the environment, regional development, and, of course, the quality of life of users.

The President of the Republic has committed to completing it by 2022. For this reason, he is personally following up on the progress of this work that is not only emblematic of modern transportation in Mexico but is also a work that symbolizes cooperation between governments. The Mexico-Toluca Interurban Train has been involved in problems since the start of its construction, which has led it to accumulate seven years of work, four years of delay, and a cost overrun of 159%.

Line 3 of the Guadalajara Light Railway was recently put into operation, and work is being carried out on new passenger transportation projects such as the Lechería Suburban Railway branch to the Felipe Ángeles International Airport, the León-Celaya Interurban Train, the García Suburban Train - Monterrey Airport, and the Mexico-Querétaro Train. Of course, we cannot fail to mention the priority projects in the Southeast, such as the Mayan Train and the Inter-Oceanic Corridor of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, which will be fundamental triggers for the development of that region; in this way, the railroad will once again become a transportation protagonist, retaking its vocation as an agent of change and promoter of well-being.