The first project expected to go-ahead is a 530km extension to the North-South Railway, currently operated by Vale, from Açailândia to the port of Vila do Conde south of Belém. This will act as a pilot for Brazil's new open-access operating concessions.

The government had hoped to have the bidding documents ready by late April for the first six lots covering 2600km of new railway, but this has taken longer than expected. Now the government plans to issue invitations to tender for all of the projects by August with a view to awarding all contracts by the end of the year.

The policy in future will increase the capacity of lines when usage reaches 70%. At this point tenders will be invited to lay additional tracks or carry out other measures to boost capacity.