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Brazil to seek bids for high-speed rail line

December 8th, 2009

Rio-SaoTrainThe Brazilian government will soon open the bidding process to build a high-speed train line that will link Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, authorities said.

A meeting was held Monday between President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the ministers to be involved in the project, which will require a budget of 34.6 billion reais ($19.44 billion), the state-run Brasil news agency reported.

In selecting the winning bid, Brazilian authorities will be looking not only for the lowest price for the rail line but also for the most favourable conditions regarding technology transfer.

The winning firm or consortium will be responsible for the construction, which will have to be finished in 2015, and will enjoy the concession to run the rail line for 40 years.

The railway will stretch for 510.8 km and will link Rio with Sao Paulo and Campinas. While traversing the route, trains will attain a maximum speed of 350 kph.

At least seven stations will be built along the line, including stops at the respective cities’ international airports.

The line will provide service within a corridor where some 40 million people live – 20 percent of the Brazilian population – and which generates a third of the country’s gross domestic product.

The building of the high-speed railway, which will be the first such transportation system in Latin America, has aroused the interest of firms among others in Spain, Germany, Japan, China and South Korea.

The project already has suffered assorted delays, and so it will not enter into service before the 2014 soccer World Cup, despite the government’s original intention, but presumably it will be completed before the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

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