CRRC says it is planning to build a new production facility in Mexico that will become the base to supply rail projects throughout Latin America.

“Our aim is to have a plant with a workforce of 5000 in 100 hectares, to begin with,” CRRC spokesman, Mr Iñigo Pérez, said in conversation with Mexican journalists. Company staff are seeking a suitable site, he added, but it would most likely be on Mexico’s central Gulf Coast on lands straddling the states of Veracruz and Tamaulipas.

CRRC broke into the Mexican market with a $US 1.5bn contract awarded late last year for the renovation of Line 1 of the Mexico City metro. It has a share in the $US 140m Inter-Urban Tijuana - Tecate project located close to the US border in the state of Baja California, and it has won a $US 60m contract to supply 26 wagons for Monterrey Metro, which serves Mexico’s northern business and industrial capital.

Not all, however, has been sweetness and light for the Chinese company in Mexico. 

When consortia led by CAF and Alstom recently submitted rival bids of just under the $US 2bn limit to supply 42 trains for the 1452 km Mayan Train project, CRRC representative Mr Gao Feng said that his company had failed to bid for the project because of what he described as a failure to establish a level playing field for the process. 

CAF and Alstom have manufacturing facilities in Central Mexico, and the contract had stipulated a preference for construction work to create more jobs in the country. 

Fonatur, the Mexican state tourism authority which overseeing the project, says the result of the Maya Train tender will be announced on May 26.