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October 17, 2019
October 21, 2019

The Mayan Train: and the sleepers Mr. President?

The Mayan Train: and the sleepers Mr. President?


The Mayan Train: and the sleepers Mr. President?

October 17th, 2019

1. “With rain, thunders or lightning bolts, the Mayan Train will be built”

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, declared: "Rain, shine or flash, the Mayan Train will be built, whether you want it or not." In turn, Fonatur announced that four tenders will be issued in December for a total amount of four to five billion dollars and civil works are expected to begin in April 2020. This means that the demand for sleepers is a fact.

The decision of who will supply the sleepers is an opportunity for the government to provide proof that its stated purpose of: “creating working opportunities to improve the quality of life of the (local) inhabitants. The main profitability is social welfare.

Local people are the priority of the Mayan Train ”, it is true and not just political discourse. As long as this alternative to promote the production and purchase of sleepers by Fonatur to local forestry organizations that have managed their forest sustainably for more than 37 years, becomes a reality.

Otherwise, if the supply of sleepers is assigned to a national or foreign private company this would be proof that the speech is just that, words without deeds.

2. Why use wood sleepers and not concrete sleepers?

According to Detail Engineering, Biotren a Coronel extension project, which carried out the technical-economic comparative analysis between roads based on wood or concrete sleepers in 2013, indicates that not only the sleepers used should be taken into account, but the rest of the elements of the track: thickness and quantity of ballast and the difference in the maintenance costs of the track (EFE - Idom, 2013).

According to its analysis, the cost of construction and maintenance for one kilometer of track during the 30-year useful life is lower with wood sleeper than with concrete sleeper. From year 30 to 60 years of life of the concrete sleeper, the sleeper track costs of both materials are very similar. The wooden sleeper track has a lower initial cost because it is cheaper than the concrete one (EFE - Idom, 2013). According to the Net Present Value (NPV), sensitizing the lifespan of 30-year-old wooden sleepers and 60-year-old concrete sleepers, with a 6% discount rate, reports that the NPV difference between sleepers of wood and sleepers


Translator: Martín Caballero


By: Dr. Jorge Antonio Torres Pérez; Dr. Zazil Ha Muic kac García Trujillo; M.C. Victoria Santos Jiménez and Ing. José Antonio Arreola Palacios


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