Economic Watch: China-made hi-tech rail cars bolster development, connectivity in north Mexico

Updated: October 16, 2021 Source:
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Since childhood, Catalino Hinojosa has developed a liking for everything about trains. Today, he is on the staff of a Chinese-made smart train in the Mexican city of Monterrey, capital of northern Nuevo Leon state.

Hinojosa told Xinhua he still remembered the old passenger and freight trains on which his father had worked for the country's national railroad company, Ferrocarriles Nacionales de Mexico, in the first half of the 1900s.

While he never got to work there, he is proud and satisfied to work as a train conductor for the Monterrey Collective Transport System (Metrorrey), the city's 30-year-old electric light rail network, which travels both underground and overground.

Nuevo Leon opened an international bid to add a third line to Metrorrey's two existing lines, with China's CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co., Ltd. emerging as the winner to deliver 26 new rail cars. Line 3 was inaugurated in February.

Like his colleagues, Hinojosa recognizes the performance, modernity and comfort of the Chinese cars for conductors and passengers alike.

The arrival of the Chinese cars, he said, meant "development and the beginning of an era of prosperity" for commuters and Nuevo Leon as a whole, since it boosted the local economy, created jobs and increased connectivity.

"It's been very inspiring for me because we have never had such a technologically-advanced train. The cabin, control panel and dashboard all have state-of-the-art technology," the conductor said.

He also acknowledged China's efforts in enhancing infrastructure and communications networks as part of the Belt and Road Initiative, saying it not only brings trade but also development to the people.

A Xinhua team toured the city's rapid transit system and its operational center, where Juan Carlos Holguin Aguirre, until recently head of the Metrorrey General Directorate, said the Chinese company "exceeded expectations," since it delivered ahead of schedule despite the COVID-19 pandemic, yet still with necessary technical training carried out.

"We are very happy with the service, the price, the quality. So far it has been a successful acquisition, and I believe that if there is a future acquisition (of trains), the number one option with the quality we have now will be obvious," he said.

Now an increasing number of Monterrey commuters are seeking to get on the modern China-made train cars, citing advanced technology and comfort, including climate control as the main reasons, according to a Xinhua survey.

Editor: Li Shimeng