Ministry of Communications and Transport (SCT) director general for railway and multimodal transport Mr Pablo Suarez Coello confirmed at a press conference that the 210km Mexico City – Queretaro line will be build by a consortium comprising China Railway Construction Corporation (International), CSR Corporation, China, and Mexican construction companies GIA, Prodomex, GHP Mexican Infrastructure, and Teya Construction. Systra, France, will provide project management services.

Last month SCT confirmed the consortium submitted the only bid in an international tender for the contract with an offer of Pesos 50.82bn ($US 3.75bn) excluding tax. China's Eximbank is providing an 85% long-term loan to finance the project.

The line will be designed for operation at up to 300km/h and is expected to carry around 27,000 passengers per day with a journey time of 58 minutes between Buenavista station in Mexico City and Queretaro. The project will include the construction of 15.9km of viaducts and 11.6km of tunnels.

CSR will supply a fleet of eight-car CRH380A trains, which will seat up to 426 passengers.

The contract includes a five-year operations and maintenance term, which is worth around $US 660m.

SCT says construction will begin in February 2015 and the line is due to be commissioned in 2018.