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Puebla inaugurates interurban LRT service

Tram-train operation in Puebla was inaugurated on 23 January. It is the first such project to be completed in Mexico. Around 100km (62 miles) south-east of Mexico City, the city of Puebla (population approx. 2.5m) is known for the Archeological Pyramid in nearby Cholula. The tram-train, the first commercial passenger service to be launched in the city in over 20 years, makes use of the existing Ferrosur freight railway alignment, extensively refurbished and electrified, and the former Puebla Main railway station, which has largely functioned as a National Railway Museum since 1988.
The 17.4km (10.8-mile) service links Puebla and Cholula seven times each way on weekdays (nine times at weekends and holidays) with a 40-minute journey time. The fare is MXN60 (EUR2.70) each way for tourists, but only MXN13 (EUR0.60) for local residents.
Passenger service started on 26 January; the inauguration three days earlier was attended by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. The key for the MXP1.2bn (EUR54.3m) project was the purchase from Spain of two Vossloh 39.6m diesel-electric LRVs built for the aborted León tram-train under a contract with national narrow-gauge operator Feve, but which were never used. In order to be suitable for their new role, the vehicles have been regauged from 1000mm to 1435mm, and can carry up to 284 passengers. The project was supported by the Mexican Government and freight operators Ferrosur and Kansas City Southern.