A planned railway to move tourism into remote areas of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is placing the underwater cave systems and Mayan archaeological sites in that area at risk, according to the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association.
The US$9.8 billion/~€8.89 billion “Maya Train” railway project is projected to transport 40,000 passengers a day to the Yucatan Peninsula. After several false starts and location changes, the Mexican government’s plan now is to build the railway about 4km (2.5 miles) from Highway 307, which could destroy habitat where endangered and protected species are found, DEMA warns.
As planned, the train will cross over sections of the largest underwater cave system in the world, Sac Actun. In addition, the limestone caves in that region, filled with the area’s only source of fresh water, may be damaged or destroyed if the railway is built along this route, according to DEMA:
“There are considerable risks for building this railway in the planned location, including the risks of building a passenger-carrying railway in a geologically unstable area and destroying the cave diving currently available in the area.
“DEMA is in opposition to building this railway in this location and suggests that members of the diving industry also voice their opposition by signing the petition found here. At this writing, more than 63,000 have signed this petition in opposition to building the railway in this location.”