The price of the work increased almost 43% compared to the original price.
The construction of the Mayan Train exceeded the originally proposed budget despite the modifications that have been made to its route to reduce costs and time.
Rogelio Jiménez Pons, director of the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur), said in his appearance before the Senate that the investment grew by almost 60 billion pesos, from 140,000 to 200 billion pesos.
The increase is due to modifications in the work. In March, the official announced that in the initial plan it was considered that 100% of the train would run on diesel, but the strategy changed so that half would operate electrically.
The change represented the purchase of different rolling stock, as well as the placement of double track —with hydrocarbon only one was needed—.
The decision that the Mayan Train travels an elevated section in Cancun also increased the price, since the infrastructure to achieve it is more complex.
The increase is reflected in the project of the Economic Package 2021, in which the Ministry of Finance proposed 65% more budget for the work. The document requests to allocate 62,942 billion pesos, while in 2020 36,288 billion pesos were granted.
Is profitability in danger?
Jiménez Pons explained that despite the increase in the cost of the work, the rate of return on investment will be between 12 and 14%, and that it will be obtained by the spending of tourists in the area, the length of their stay and the loads.
In an interview with Obras in April, the official said that they would try to put the highest possible rates on tourists who use the transport.
“Why? Because in the tourist market we have a very good market level, so we can offer you things that are worthwhile. Obviously there are going to be economy dining cars for the largest number of people, but we will have sophistications in dining cars as well as sleeping cars,” he commented.
According to the cost-benefit analysis performed for the train, the 42% increase in cost does not represent a loss in profit.
“It was determined that the project supports an increase in investment of up to 256% so that it ceases to be profitable, since an amount of 352.2 thousand million pesos of investment without VAT would make the NPV equal to zero”, because this figure corresponds to the return on investment considered, indicates the document.