The governments of Guanajuato and Querétaro are working on a proposal to build an interurban train to connect five states in the Bajío region.
Roberto Vallejo Rábago, director of transportation at the Guanajuato Secretariat of Infrastructure, told the newspaper El Economista that once completed, the proposal will be presented to the authorities of other states in the Bajío and the federal government with the aim of securing support and funding.
He said the project is “on the radar” of Governor Diego Sinhue Rodríguez Vallejo of Guanajuato and Francisco Domínguez Servién of Querétaro, adding that they are already lobbying the federal government to support it.
New infrastructure projects, such as the Maya Train, shouldn’t only be built in the southeast but also in the Bajío, Vallejo said, pointing out that the region is an economic powerhouse.
The rail project would provide connections between the states of Querétaro, Guanajuato, Jalisco, San Luis Potosí and Aguascalientes.
“We need to find a way to connect us all. The Bajío region is one of the most important regions in the country and it has to be connected . . .” Vallejo said.
The railroad could also link to the Mexico City-Querétaro high speed rail project if it is ever built. The project failed to get off the ground during the administration of the previous government but hasn’t been abandoned completely.
Vallejo lamented that Mexico’s passenger rail network has been “abandoned” but asserted that the new train would benefit both the residents of the Bajío and companies that operate in the region.
“The beneficiaries would be all of us who live in the Bajío [and] the companies that come to set up shop. In the case of Guanajuato, we [already] have Toyota, Honda, Pirelli, Volkswagen,” he said.
Both Japanese and European companies have indicated that they value the availability of public transit systems in the regions they operate because it makes the transportation of workers easier, Vallejo added.
The official said that political will and long-term vision are needed for the execution of the rail project and that it needs to be supported by uniform laws in the states in which it would operate.
Gustavo Gutiérrez de la Torre, head of mobility in the Aguascalientes government, said that a new regional transportation network is needed because “in the end we’re part of an [interconnected] economic system.”