Mexico launches coast-to-coast passenger and cargo railway


MEXICO CITY, Dec 22 (Reuters) – Mexico on Friday launched operations on a train line that crosses the country’s narrowest point from the Gulf coast to the Pacific Ocean, kicking off a flagship government project as the administration enters its last months in office.

The “Inter-Oceanic Train,” which will carry both passengers and cargo on a three-hour trip from the coastal hub of Coatzacoalcos in Veracruz state to the Pacific port of Salina Cruz, is part of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s plan to bring investment to the country’s poorer south.

The government is also hoping to attract investments from carmakers, tech firms and semiconductor producers in a dozen industrial parks in the area. The two port towns are also home to major installations of state-run oil company Pemex (PEMX.UL).

Officials have pitched the train line as a potential rival to the Panama Canal, which curbed operations this year due to a historic drought.

“All the Asian countries are very interested,” Lopez Obrador said on Friday, “because Panama is at capacity.”

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