The consortium, which includes China Railway Construction Corporation (International) and CSR Corporation, submitted an offer of Pesos 50.82bn ($US 3.75bn) excluding tax. This includes construction, rolling stock, signalling, and electromechanical works.

SCT says it received letters of apology from 16 companies which chose not to participate, including Alstom, Bombardier, CAF, Siemens and construction companies Comsa Emte and FCC.

The line will be designed for operation at up to 300km/h and is expected to carry around 23,000 passengers per day with a journey time of around 59 minutes between Buenavista station in Mexico City and Queretaro.

Evaluation of the proposal submitted by the consortium will begin immediately with the aim of concluding the deal by November 3. SCT says it expects construction to start in December and commercial services are due to begin operating in the second half of 2017.