The construction of the Maya Train project has been delayed.
Upon the discovery of the ancient Maya archaeological site in Mexico, efforts to construct an $8 billion Maya Train have again been thwarted. The site comprises over 300 buildings, according to Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), and the construction of the train in the Yucatan peninsula has been in effect since 2020. 
The director of the institute, Diego Prieto, confirmed that an archaeological survey on section 5 of the project between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, led to the discovery of a significant site that compromises over 300 buildings, some of which stood over 8 meters tall. The briefing in which Prieto was speaking was held by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. 
The train is designed to connect Yucatan’s historical sites to encourage touristic activity and bring forward the region’s ancient cultures – however, environmentalists, archaeologists, and indigenous communities stress that constructing a train would backfire. 
“Engineering adjustments are being made to the southern part of section 5 [of the railroad] in order to protect an impressive archaeological site that we’ve recognized as Paamul II,” said Prieto during the conference.
Presenting information and schematic maps of what they believe the settlement may have resembled, Prieto showed that over 25,000 immovable assets have been discovered in all sections of the railroad, in addition to ancient roads, 431 ceramic pots, and 423 bones from human burials. Only 11% of the review has been completed thus far. However, divers are looking into caverns and cenotes in the area for more uncovered sites.
The site, upon the uncovering of these premises, will be protected as an ecological and archaeological corridor, whereas the artifacts that come with it – though unearthed – will be on display at Mexican museums. 
The Maya Train was said to open in December 2023, alongside Tulum Airport – however, the delays may change this trajectory.
Read next: Mexico: Archaeologists Find Ancient Mayan Canoe
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