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Crane Collapse Temporarily Halts Construction on Mexico City-Toluca Commuter Rail, Casting Uncertainty on Summer Opening

mexico city toluca crane collapse

A significant setback has occurred in the construction of the Mexico City-Toluca commuter train, as work on the project was halted due to the collapse of a large crane in the Mexico City borough of Álvaro Obregón. This incident marks the fourth disruption this year to the development of this crucial transit link. The accident took place on a Wednesday morning when an 800-ton crane, tasked with installing a bridge segment on an elevated track section, failed and collapsed.

Fortunately, there were no injuries reported; however, the crane suffered extensive damage. According to a statement from the Mexico City government, investigations to determine the cause of the collapse are underway by both Rizzani Echer, the construction company involved, and the city attorney general. Construction activities have been paused in the area pending the completion of these inquiries and the subsequent removal of the damaged machinery.

This latest mishap casts uncertainty on the scheduled completion and opening of the final two sections of the railway this summer. During a press conference in late February, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had announced that the entire line would be operational by August. The president also disclosed a significant increase in the project’s budget, with costs soaring to 100 billion pesos ($5.8 billion), a stark rise from the initial estimate of 23 billion pesos ($1.3 billion).

The first section of the CDMX-Toluca commuter train, known as The “Insurgent,” was inaugurated by President López Obrador on September 15, marking a milestone in public transportation infrastructure under his administration. Despite this progress, the full operation of the commuter rail, stretching nearly 60 kilometers and encompassing three sections, is still confined to the Toluca metropolitan area, affecting only Section 1 at present.

The ongoing difficulties, including previous accidents in Section 3 which also experienced a crane collapse earlier this year, highlight the challenges faced in completing this ambitious project. These disruptions not only delay the anticipated benefits of the commuter line but also increase scrutiny on the safety measures and management of such large-scale construction efforts.

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