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Mexico To Reopen Bidding For Multibillion High-speed Train

Mexico To Reopen Bidding For Multibillion High-speed Train

Posted by Shanelle Weir on January 06, 2015

The Mexican government announced that it will reopen the bidding process for a $3.75 billion high-speed train contract that was abruptly canceled in November when it became entangled with a  possible conflict-of-interest scandal involving Mexico’s First Lady.

Mexico’s Department of Transportation said in a statement on Sunday that it will publish preliminary terms for the project on January 14. The terms of the tender, which will be open for 180 days, will be similar to the original one, the agency said.

The 130-mile line, which will connect Mexico City and the central city of Queretaro, is expected to move 27,000 passengers daily at speeds of up to 186 mph. It represents the first phase of a major infrastructure project that will ultimately link Southern and Northern Mexico. The country has no passenger trains since the railroads were privatized in the 1990s.

Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto abruptly revoked the single-bid deal late last year shortly before disclosures that his wife, former soap opera star Angélica Rivera, acquired a lavish mansion from a Mexican contractor who was awarded part of the rail contract. China Railway Construction Corp (CRCC) was also part of the consortium.

 Office of Mexico's Presidency)
President Obama is expected to discuss security and social issues with Peña Nieto (Photo credit: Office of Mexico’s Presidency)

 

The government said that the Mexican company, Higa, owned by Juan Armando Hinojosa, a Mexican businessman close to the President, is not expected to participate in the bidding this time around.

The Global Times reported that China will probably tender again to the high-speed rail project and will hold “significant advantages,” officials from CRCC said Monday, after Mexico announced the re-launching of the project.

According to Reuters, French engineering group Alstom SA and Canada’s Bombardier Inc. have said they would also consider taking part in the new tender.

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