What is it like to travel on the Mayan Train?
Published by Tzuara de Luna, Diana Zavala y Lidia Arista | EXPANSIÓN on December 17, 2023
Passengers arrived at the San Francisco de Campeche station, featuring impressive architecture by Gabriela Bojalil. The station, though bustling, lacked certain amenities, with a limited waiting room and a sparse food supply. Ticket prices for Premier and Tourist classes were displayed, with a notable difference in costs.
Boarding was smooth with QR code readers at turnstiles. The Mayan Train, designed by Alstom, showcased distinctive green, blue, and turquoise hues. Premier class boasted reclining seats, adjustable armrests, tables, and electronic device connections. However, intermittent electrical connections and Wi-Fi issues occurred during the journey.
The cafeteria faced high demand, leading to food shortages by midday. Unexpected delays due to “track change verification” extended the anticipated six-hour trip to nine and a half hours. Despite inconveniences, passengers expressed happiness and optimism for future improved experiences, including cabins and showers on trains.
In Cancun, the station faced challenges during the “preinaugural” phase, lacking essential facilities such as a ticket office, proper ticket checks, and food stores. Construction works and rain complicated passenger arrivals. The excitement of the train’s arrival overshadowed these issues, with cheers for President López Obrador.
Passengers explored the train’s interiors, highlighting panoramic windows as a major attraction. Premier class included hot food and drinks, although some passengers questioned the added value. The train’s unusual backward movement surprised many, creating a unique experience.
Scheduled stops were limited, and passengers couldn’t disembark at most stations due to ongoing construction. Only the Teya station in Mérida allowed descent. Passengers viewed half-built platforms through windows, attributing the unfinished state to the tight three-and-a-half-year construction timeline.
The journey concluded in San Francisco Campeche, marking a historic moment—the return of passenger trains to Mexico. Despite challenges, passengers captured the significance of the Mayan Train, bringing travel enthusiasts closer to cultural gems like Chichen Itzá, Ek Balam, Dzibilchaltún, Izamal, and Valladolid.
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