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Mexico: high-speed train

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mexico will in the next few weeks reopen bidding for this week for 130-mile high-speed passenger rail line, which connects the capital with the central city of Queretaro.

Bidders will have six months to present proposals for a project, which will be similar to an earlier one, which the government cancelled last October 20, five days after awarding it to a consortium led by China Railway Construction Corporation, and which includes local firms Prodemex (only in Spanish)  Grupo GIA (only in Spanish), Constructora Teya, and GHP Infraestructura Mexicana.

The project was derailed by allegations that a member of the consortium had built a $7 million home for President Enrique Peña.

Several companies have said that they will bid on the project, including Alstom of France, and Canada’s Bombardier, which has a railcar factory in Hidalgo State.

The winner is expected to invest around $3.8 billion, which would be recovered mainly through passenger revenue.

The line will transport some 23,000 passengers per day at speeds of close to 200 kilometers per hour, unprecedented in Latin America, according to officials.

The Chinese-led consortium was the solo bidder on the previous tender, which was open for only 45 days.

The government had to move quickly on the project, because an efficient rail corridor is a priority, said Transport Minister Gerardo Ruiz.