As the Maya Train slowly nears completion, authorities have started devising plans on how to keep thousands of daily riders safe. This week, they announced that nearly 5000 soldiers will be deployed as part of a massive security effort to protect the new costly infrastructure undertaking, as well as its passengers.
Around 5000 National Guard Troops To Oversee Maya Train Safety
The Maya Train is by far the largest infrastructure project to be built in Mexico; spanning over 1500 kilometers and covering 5 states, the massive railway system will transform how travelers move around the Mexican Caribbean state of Quintana Roo as well as four other Mexican regions. Such a monumental investment is bound to cause security concerns, especially in states where organized crime levels remain high.
This week, authorities in Mexico revealed that close to 5000 National Guard troops will patrol the Maya Train, including its stations, critical infrastructure points, and of course, the trains themselves. Thousands of passengers are expected to ride the train each day, with most of them getting on board in places like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum.
Under the new public security plan revealed recently, around 3000 troops will be deployed to patrol different segments of the railway as well as the carriages. Officials say that popular tourist zones, as well as areas which higher crime rates, will receive more attention to deter organized crime from causing any trouble.
Meanwhile, the remaining nearly 2000 troops will mainly oversee tourist attractions distributed along the Maya Train route. A sizeable contingent will also be placed in the upcoming Cancun Airport train station, which is expected to become one of the most transited points in the new railway project.
Authorities will be investing heavily in brand-new, high-tech security features to protect travelers. Mexico’s National Guard – a paramilitary organization founded in 2019 to deter organized crime – has procured 5 Augusat helicopters from Italy to assist in official duties. Officials will also set up three new military bases: one in Mérida, one in Tulum, and one in Palenque. National Guard troops will also have 38 new military checkpoints situated along the Maya Train route, spanning some 1500 kilometers.
In addition to the nearly 5000 troops emanating from the National Guard, more than 830 soldiers from the Mexican Army will join forces with other law enforcement agencies to protect riders, as well as 90 units from the country’s Air Force.
With countless tourist attractions and large national parks found along the railway, law enforcement has a gargantuan task on its hands, especially as the region is expected to welcome a record number of travelers this year.
The Maya Train Will Likely Commence Operations By December
Officials are determined to launch the Maya Train on December 1, 2023, as workers rush to complete the massive undertaking. Upon completion, the Maya Train is expected to cost the national government as much as $20 billion, making it one of the costliest projects to date.
Official testing of the new railway line is expected to commence in early September, although technical trials are likely to begin much earlier. If everything goes according to plan, travelers could potentially take advantage of the new Maya Train late this year, and the mega-project is expected to benefit tourists massively.
In addition to making public transport an accessible and convenient option, the Maya Train will also allow travelers to discover new hidden gems across the Mexican Caribbean, including stunning natural wonders and ancient Mayan ruins. Its 34 stations will grant access to up to 26 archeological zones across 5 Mexican states and countless other sights.
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