China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) formed a joint venture with Venezuelan State Railways (IFE) in 2009 to build the 468km line from Tinaco, 150km west of Caracas to Anaco in Anzoategui state. At around $US 7.5bn it is one of Venezuela's largest international contracts outside the oil industry.

However, a report in the South China Morning Post quotes China Railway Group chairman Mr Li Changjin as saying that the government owes the company between $US 400m and $US 500m, and that work on the project has stopped.

The electrified double-track line was originally scheduled for completion in mid-2012, and was expected to carry 5.8 million passengers and 9.8 million tonnes of freight in the first year of operation.