A public inquiry is due to conclude next month, and a preferred bidder will be selected by August with the aim of starting civil works on the Reais 2.3bn ($US 1.16bn) project by December.

The initial phase of Fico will run for 1040km from Campinorte in the state of Goiás to Lucas do Rio Verde in Mato Grosso while the second phase will extend the line 598km to Vilhena in Rondônia state. The line's principal traffic will be soya from Mato Grosso state.