Beginning this week, companies may begin submitting preliminary bids on an estimated $20 to 30 billion project to build a high-speed rail line linking Brazil’s two biggest cities. The project, which is the first of its kind in Latin America, will provide rapid transportation in a region inhabited by some 40 million people—a full 20 percent of Brazil’s population.
According to reports, 60 percent of the cost of the project will be financed by Brazil’s development bank, and the remaining 40 percent from the winning bidder who, upon completion, will be permitted to operate the line for up to 40 years.
Work on the new rail link should be completed in 2015—in time for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The new train will travel a total of 510 kilometers (317 miles) at a maximum speed of 347 kilometers (217 miles) per hour. Sources say the total travel time on the line will be just over and 1.5 hours, and that the train will connect Brazil’s three largest international airports.