Representatives from 11 design companies from the Czech Republic, Germany and France participated in a public preliminary market consultation in September. The contract is worth an estimated Koruna 240.5 ($US 10.6m), if all options are exercised.

SŽDC is planning to build several sections of high-speed line with a design speed of up to 350km/h, with the aim of reducing travel times between the country’s main centres to below two hours.

Along with the design preparation, the tender also includes the preparation of environmental impact documentation and the incorporation of the requirements from the relevant authorities and the public. The tender also includes an option for additional work that may be necessary to obtain environmental and planning approval.

The tender will be decided through the best value procurement method, which places particular emphasis on the quality of performance, not necessarily the lowest price.

The contract is expected to run for 16 months, although this could be extended if the option is exercised.

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