Celaya Rail Bypass Master Plan

TransDevelopment Mexico is providing a series of master planning and consulting services to the Guanajuato State Government to help design a large rail bypass project in Celaya, in central Mexico. The rail bypass initiative was officially announced by Mexican President Felipe Calderon February 24 at a ceremony in Celaya. The president said the four billion peso rail bypass project will take several years to complete, but there are already 600 million pesos earmarked to start construction this year.

Several rail and rail-highway bottlenecks in Celaya hamper transportation efficiency and safety in the region. Two principal mainlines of Mexico’s leading railroads cross in Celaya – Ferrocarril Mexicano (Ferromex) and KCS de Mexico, the subsidiary of U.S. rail company Kansas City Southern. In addition, three major highways intersect with each other and the two mainlines in the area

“Celaya is the key rail and highway crossroads for commerce that flows in the central commercial region of Mexico,” says Carlos Terron, TransDevelopment’s project manager on the project. “Ferromex moves intermodal and automotive cargo from the Port of Manzanillo and Kansas City Southern serves the port of Lazaro Cardenas. They cross in downtown Celaya. In addition, these railroads serve the automotive manufacturing operations in the area and the large base of customers that are located in Guanajuato state.”

The Guanajuato Sustainable Economic Development Secretary late last year commissioned TransDevelopment to begin the master planning work on the bypass project. Terron and company rail designers have come up with preliminary alignments, based in part on concepts provided by both major railroads. The goal is to remove the mainline rail crossings from the central area of Celaya to provide a modern “beltway” and grade-separated road and rail crossings. The State-TransDevelopment team has also conducted cost studies and budgets for the bypass project.

“The bypass design will provide the railroads, highway carriers and the citizens of Celaya the opportunity to improve efficiency, consume less fuel, generate less pollution,  and increase public safety,” says Terron. “Everyone working on the project has the opportunity to creatively and thoughtfully design and develop an efficient infrastructure that will serve the needs of manufacturers, the railroads, local businesses and the local community.”

As part of the master planning process, TransDevelopment will work on siting rail yards for the two major railroads, a possible industrial park and other rail terminal options.

Terron attended the ceremony in Celaya on February 24 when Mexican President Felipe Calderon announced the rail bypass project along with Secretary of the Economy, Gerardo Ruiz Mateos, Secretary of Transportation and Communications,  Luis Tellez Kuenzler, and State Governor Juan Manuel Oliva Ramirez.

Commenting on the bypass project, President Calderon said: “With works like this, we will continue working in Guanajuato and throughout the country, not only to help Mexico emerge from the (economic) crisis, because we are going to pull through, but also to build with a long-term vision for a future of more progress for the people of Guanajuato and all Mexicans.

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