The railroad has made it possible to transport products from their place of origin, ports or production centers, to the cities. Promoting both social development and commerce, reducing transportation costs, offering lower prices to the final consumer as a result. The history of the railroad in Mexico dates back to 1837 with the project to build a railroad from Veracruz to what is now Mexico City. By 1910 the country had more than 20 thousand kilometers of railways. Currently, there are a total of 23,389 km of tracks in operation, in records of the Regulatory Agency for Rail Transport (ARTF).
The opportunity to transport goods using the railroad is extremely attractive, since only 13 percent of total cargo is carried by rail, while 57 percent is done by road, another 30 percent by sea and 0.1 percent Airway, according to data from the Basic Statistics of Federal Motor Transport report of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation (SICT).
The trend towards eliminating the carbon footprint of industries is something that new rail technologies are also contemplating. Sustainability is consolidated as a key piece for the future, a transition from diesel to other more environmentally friendly fuels is being prepared, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), electricity, and even hydrogen, thinking about a medium and long term. In addition, by using higher quality materials, it is possible to extend the useful life of the trains, reducing the generation of scrap, with a circular economy approach for the reuse of waste, which again becomes raw material.
Around the world, we can see that the use of this means of transport is also being promoted, the European Parliament determined that 2021 would be the European year of the rail, a decision related to promoting cleaner forms of transport. But if we go a little further, China, one of the great world powers, plans to increase the size of its high-speed network to 70 thousand km by 2035.
During 2021, Mexico remained the first trading partner of the northern neighbor, with a 14.5 percent share, according to the United States Census Bureau, however, Canada is very close to being able to hold this position. With the integration of the Canadian National Railway and Kansas City Southern, a railway network of more than 42 thousand kilometers is formed that crosses the three partner countries of the T-MEC: Mexico, the United States and Canada. promote investments for new kilometers, as well as the maintenance of existing ones.
Now more than ever we must remain competitive as a nation, it is time for governments, society and entrepreneurs to find solutions aimed at strengthening regional economies, promoting social development, seeking an improvement in the quality of life of the inhabitants. An opportunity to guarantee this well-being for future generations is to build new quality rail infrastructure and modernize the existing one, which in the coming years will continue to be the most efficient and least polluting option.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of RECSA