When will the Tren Maya start running?

Tren Maya

When will the Tren Maya start running?

As anticipation builds for a transformative project that promises to reshape travel experiences across Mexico, the imminent arrival of the Tren Maya sparks intrigue and excitement. This ambitious railway initiative, designed to connect the Yucatan Peninsula’s key destinations, has captured the attention of locals and tourists alike. Envisioned as a catalyst for economic development and cultural exchange, the Tren Maya is poised to unlock new possibilities for exploration, linking ancient archaeological wonders, vibrant cities, and natural wonders. In this article, we delve into the eagerly awaited details surrounding the launch of the Tren Maya, exploring when this railway marvel is set to commence its operations and the profound impact it is expected to have on Mexico’s tourism landscape.

The Tren Maya is open, here is a look

We are updating this article with our video of what a trip on the Tren Maya is like. We hope you enjoy. We also have this article here with tips and information about taking the Tren Maya here


The first train will take off in December 2023

The inauguration for the Tren Maya will be on December 15th, 2023. The Tren Maya will be rolled out be sections of the route. This is because construction has taken place in segments and some parts of the project used existing tracks and others have totally newly built tracks. The first segment to open on December 16th is the Cancun to Campeche City route. 

Tren Maya
Cancun Train Station

The Cancun Tren Maya Station is just south of the Cancun Airport. Much of the route to Merida has been built as totally new track. We have watched this construction as the 180 toll highway was moved to one side and the other side was designated for the train tracks. This first route to open will include stops at Valladolid, Chichen Itza, Izamal and Merida to name a few of the popular destinations. 

Mayan train route

The second segment to open for the Tren Maya

The first route to open on December 16th will be extended to Palenque and open on December 31st. This route also is being constructed using existing tracks, so it is no surprise this will be finished sooner than the parts in the east side of the peninsula. 

This segment will open up the long-distance trains and make visiting Palenque much easier. Plus, there are amazing ruins to visit along stops of this route. 

The final routes to be opened on this date

The remaining routes are scheduled to open on February 29th, 2024. This seems to be a bit optimistic especially since the route the Tren Maya is taking down the Riviera Maya was changed from running along the highway to further back from the coast. The final routes to be opened will be the Cancun to Bacalar and over to Campeche.  All of this section is new track and will connect the Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen, Tulum and Bacalar. 

What the Tren Maya trains will be like

There will be three types of trains running. When all of the project is done there will be a total of 42 trains running. Here are the details of the types of trains that will be used for the Tren Maya

  • Standard Train. Called Xiinbal. This train will either have 4 or 7 cars. The shorter train of 4 cars can carry 230 people and the larger train can carry 430 passengers. 
  • The Janal will have a restaurant on board. There will be 8 of these trains. Each train will have 4 cars and carry up to 140 passengers. 
  • The long-distance train will be called P’atal. This train will have sleeping cabins for the long-distance routes. There will be three of these trains and each can carry 260 passengers. 

Tren Maya trains


The imminent launch of this ambitious railway project stands as a testament to the country’s commitment to fostering connectivity, economic development, and the preservation of its rich cultural tapestry. As the Tren Maya embarks on its inaugural voyage, it not only unveils an efficient mode of transportation but also serves as a symbolic bridge linking ancient wonders, vibrant cities, and the diverse landscapes of the Yucatan Peninsula. With its potential to redefine the tourism landscape, the Tren Maya heralds a chapter of exciting exploration, inviting both locals and global travelers to embark on a transformative rail journey through the heart of Mexico. Are you ready for the Tren Maya? Follow along as we bring you updates and video of when the trains start running. 

Tren Maya
Palenque Train Station

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