Brazil will buy Bullet Train

20 April 2007 Friday, 18:18
Railway Track

The Brazilian Government in Sao Paulo has approved feasibility studies for a proposed US$9bn bullet train linking its two largest cities.

Approval for the studies was granted Wednesday by the federal accounting court, Justice Augusto Nardes said in a statement.
Brazil’s scattered railroads now are devoted almost exclusively to cargo, forcing passengers to choose between expensive air travel or precarious highways.
The bullet train would run mostly underground and would cover the 400km (250 mile) trip between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in an hour and a half at a cost about US$60 each way, O Globo newspaper reported.
A flight between the two cities takes about 45 minutes and costs about US$100. At peak hours, demand is so high that air shuttles take off every five to ten minutes.
Three South Korean companies and one from Italy have expressed interest in bidding, which could begin in the next 90 days, O Globo said. Construction is expected to take seven years.
French train maker Alstom has also expressed interest, the Agencia Estado news service reported earlier this month.
High–speed service could eventually be extended to Belo Horizonte in the north and Curitiba in the south, O Globo said.
A bullet–train link between Rio and Sao Paulo has been discussed for decades, but never reached an advanced planning stage. The two cities have a combined population of almost 30 million people.

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