The Xochimilco Light Rail
(locally known as el tren ligero
) is a light rail
line that services the south of Mexico City
. It connects to, but is not considered a part of, the Mexico City Metro
, rather, it is operated by the Servicio de Transportes Electricos
, the authority that operates Mexico City's electric trolleybus
system and formerly operated the municipal electric tram
The line was built in the 1980s, when the city's tramways (streetcars) were disappearing, replacing the original Xochimilco tram line that dated from 1908. It initially used modified PCC streetcars, but, in the 1990s, due to constant failures of the rolling stock, the PCC trams were replaced with new units.
The line runs between Metro Tasqueña and the town of Xochimilco, south of Mexico City.
For the northern stretch of its run, it travels along the central reservation of the Calzada de Tlalpan, as does Metro Line 2 south of Metro San Antonio Abad – for this reason, it is sometimes seen as a continuation of that line, albeit on a more modest scale.
Today, the line serves the Coyoacán, Tlalpan, and Xochimilco boroughs, giving residents a fast link to the urban south of Mexico City.
The Xochimilco Light Railway's rolling stock consists of 16 articulated double trains that can carry up to 374 passengers per unit. The light rail line has 16 stations and two terminals; running time from one end of the line to the other is approx. 37 minutes.
The line's stations are:
- Tasqueña – Terminal. Connects with Metro Line 2 and the city's southern intercity bus station, which serves cities like Acapulco, Cuernavaca, and the entire Republic south of the capital. Its logo is an eclipsing moon / crescent moon.
- Las Torres – Station. Its name comes from Avenida Las Torres ("The Towers"). Its logo is a picture of two high-voltage pylons.
- Ciudad Jardín – Station. Its name is given from nearby residential estate with same name. (Ciudad Jardín means Garden City). Its logo is the shape of an apartment block.
- La Virgen – Station. Its name is given from nearby Calzada de La Virgen ("Virgin Avenue"). Its logo is a stylised depiction of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
- Xotepingo – Station. Its logo is a tree.
- Nezahualpilli – Station. Its logo is Nezahualpilli's head. Near the station is Mexico City's automobile museum.
- Registro Federal – Station. Its name is given from nearby former offices of the federal automobile registration department. Its logo is the front of a car.
- Textitlán – Station. Its logo is a plant like a maguey or agave.
- El Vergel – Station. Its name is given from El Vergel neighbourhood, near the station. Its logo is a grapevine (vergel means grapevine).
- Estadio Azteca – Switching station and repair workshops for the light rail line. The station stands in front of the Aztec Stadium sports arena. There was a second light rail line, from Estadio Azteca to San Fernando that worked for about two years from 1988 to 1990 1. There are still some visible tracks (some others are buried under asphalt) and the platforms of the stations still remain. This second line had the same route as the PCC tram line that closed in 1982. The logo of the station is a side view of the stadium.
- Huipulco – Station. Named after the nearby district of Huipulco. Its logo is a pre-Hispanic glyph.
- Xomali – Station. Its logo is the shape of something like a flower.
- Periférico – Station. Its name coems from the city's nearby outer ring-road (Nearby are the facilities of the Tecnológico de Monterrey private university. The station's logo depicts a road junction.
- Tepepan – Station. Its name is given from a hill and a town with the same name. There was once a tramway destiny. One of the best (and last) pulquerías of Mexico City, "Nomás no llores", is near. Its logo is the Aztec representation for a hill.
- La Noria – Station. Its name comes from the zone where the station is. Noria means water well; its logo shows a well.
- Huichapan – Station. Its logo is a river with trees at its sides.
- Francisco Goitia – Station. Its name is given from a street and a zone nearby. Francisco Goitia was a painter. The station's logo is an artist's palette.
- Xochimilco (previously known as Embarcadero) – Terminal. Named after the town of Xochimilco, famous for its boat rides in boats called trajineras. Also, for the wide river zone, where so many representatives of the different flora and fauna that once existed throughout the Valley of Mexico can be found. The terminal's logo is the ancient glyph for Xochimilco.