Tourist train fail in Puebla-Cholula

The project, which promised to be another attraction, failed because it has few trips and users.

Tourist train fail in Puebla-Cholula
Puebla-Cholula Tourist Train. The project, which promised to be another attraction, failed because it has few trips and users

Expensive, underutilized, and half-hearted, because the service costs between 13 and 30 pesos, has few passengers, and two intermediate terminals that do not work, this is how the Puebla-Cholula Tourist Train operates since it opened two years ago.

Although during the delivery of this project of one thousand 113 million pesos, on January 23, 2017, former Governor Rafael Moreno Valle and former President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto promised that this project would be another attraction for visitors and that it would generate economic benefits for the state, almost nothing has been fulfilled and the state government has recently planned to change its tourist vocation to mass transit.

Despite its name, onboard the train there is no view or landscape worthy of admiration, because in the first kilometers of its journey it crosses the traffic of primary roads such as Avenida 11 Norte and Boulevard Norte, then predominates in the panorama shops of auto parts of dubious origin of the area known as "la 46" and private homes, while as it moves towards San Pedro Cholula the view changes to industrial buildings, factories, domestic shops, backyards of dozens of homes and vacant lots, mainly Reglamentos

There is no indication of the parallel linear park with walkers, trotapists, and trees that according to the state former legislator assured that it would build with a double benefit, offer tourists a better landscape and provide a recreational space for those who live in the municipalities of Cuautlancingo and Puebla. Far from that, the passengers of the Puebla-Cholula Tourist Train can see graffiti walls and lights that, instead of illuminating the route, are vandalized.

The service is expensive, the same for local users as for tourists, since the former must pay 13 pesos per trip, which is more than twice the rate of the traditional collective transport service between the municipalities, which is 6 pesos, while that the latter must pay much more, 30 pesos to tackle it as a recreational ride.

Perhaps for this reason, although the Puebla-Cholula Tourist Train has a capacity of 78 passengers comfortably seated, few approach it, according to El Sol de Puebla, seven in the run that leaves from Puebla to Cholula at 8: 30 hours and 12 on the return trip that leaves at 12:20 hours, although according to one of the workers, the scheduled trips in the afternoon are more crowded and those on the weekends fill the space for the car.

According to the information presumed during its inauguration, the train can transport 284 passengers in each of its three daily runs, from Monday to Friday, and four of the weekends, but according to the First Results Report of Governor Antonio Gali Fayad, presented in January 2018, throughout 2017 the Tourist Train Puebla-Cholula had a total of 94 thousand 530 users, which is equivalent to a daily average, in all trips, of 283 people, and which represents just 30 per one hundred of its capacity, of 318 thousand 80 passengers in the one thousand 120 runs of its first year of operation.

It is also necessary to say that the Puebla-Cholula Tourist Train does not operate as planned since it does not make the stops established in Momoxpan (auxiliary board of San Pedro Cholula) nor in the Hidalgo market, which was built and, although they are concluded, they are closed. Even, it must be said that former Governor Rafael Moreno Valle spoke at the time of a third intermediate station, although it was never identified or constructed.

Last August, Roberto Rivero Trewartha, titular to date of Roads of Cuota Puebla (CCP), the organism responsible for the Tourist Train Puebla-Cholula admitted in an interview with El Sol de Puebla that it is underutilized, because of the 300 thousand passengers who estimated that it would transport, it only operated with 100 thousand, that is to say, the third party. He considered that the null operation of the intermediate stops and the service of only three daily runs are the reasons why they had fewer users than projected.