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Mexico's cancels contract to build a high-speed passenger train

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Staff writer ▼ | November 11, 2014
Mexico has cancelled a $3.75 billion contract for a Chinese-led consortium to build a high-speed passenger rail link. President Enrique Pena Nieto said he wanted to avoid "any doubts about the legitimacy and transparency" of the bidding process.
Enrique Pena Nieto
To start again   $3.75 billion worth contract suspended
Mexico has forged closer links with China, while Pena Nieto is going to Beijing on a state visit next week. The tender for the 130-mile rail link is being re-opened.

Mexico's communications and transport ministry said the new auction would start from mid-November and be open for about six months.

The contract was scrapped after lawmakers accused the government of favoring China Railway Construction Corp (CRCC). Rival bids by Germany's Siemens, Canada's Bombardier and France's Alsthom were considered.

According to reports, the three had asked for more time to prepare their submissions, but the requests were denied. Japan's Mitsubishi also expressed an interest.

But only CRCC and its Mexican partners had submitted a bid proposal by the 15 October deadline for the link between Mexico City and Queretaro.

It is possible that CRCC could be eligible for compensation because its contract has been withdrawn, government officials admitted. Construction of the rail line, part of the government's plan to bolster the economy, was due to start in December, with services running from 2017.