With the completion of the Tren Maya project in Quintana Roo and the Yucatan coming to a close in a little over a month, the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has set his sights on a new train project.
Next up, a train for the Baja California peninsula.
The Transpeninsular Train
The train will connect Los Cabos with Tijuana and be longer than the Tren Maya at 1,750 kilometers long. It is a continuation of the vision of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to reactivate passenger trains to connect the country.
Mexican Congressman Miguel Torruco Garza has released the first map of the route as part of the mission to expand rail services in the country through 2050.
Connecting Baja California
Departing Tijuana, the new train would connect several popular cities and tourist destinations along the states of Baja California and Baja California Sur.
The train route would include strategic stops at places such as Ensenada, Guerrero Negro, Loreto, Ciudad Constitución, La Paz, Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo.
It will take approximately four years to construct the 1,750-kilometer track, and initial costs for the project are about $140 billion Mexican pesos ($8.3 billion dollars).
Connection to United States Trains
The initial plan would be for it to connect to the rail system in the United States. Which most likely would be the San Diego Trolley light rail system. Currently, the Amtrak Coaster train only travels as far as Downtown San Diego.
The train would depart Tijuana every 30 minutes and could carry up to 25,000 tourists per day.
Competition For Flights?
A route from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas following Highway 1 to La Paz and switching over to Highway 19 to Cabo San Lucas is a little over 1,000 miles, according to Google Maps. A train running that route at 100 miles per hour would still take 10 hours to complete the journey.
Are travelers willing to spend 10 hours taking the train from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas? Most tourists would have their doubts.
Checking back with Google Maps shows that there are generally two to four planes flying that nonstop route every day. The time for the flight? A mere two hours and ten minutes.
Viva Aerobus had that flight on sale for $72 dollars round trip on January 30. Sure, the luggage would be a little extra. However, it’s hard to imagine that the train would provide much competition to flights for travelers if it were to be built.
Prices are significantly higher from San Diego International Airport at a $324 roundtrip nonstop flight on Alaska Airlines on January 30. The time is still relatively short at two hours and 18 minutes to Los Cabos International Airport.
Where things would get interesting would be taking trips from Los Cabos to see different parts if Baja California Sur available along the route.
Tips for Travelers
While the train may be a fun way for travelers to enjoy a scenic ride to Los Cabos along the entire length of the Baja California peninsula, it’s hard to imagine many travelers using the option to get to the beach resort destination.
The fares would have to be pretty cheap to compete with airfares from Tijuana. Although, the train could be more competitive with the nonstop fares to Los Cabos from San Diego. However, the potential 10-hour train ride, as opposed to a two hour flight, would most likely deter even the hardiest budget travelers.
Instead, travelers can look forward to a new way to connect to the other beautiful cities near Los Cabos.
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