BIDDING rules for the forthcoming privatisation of Peru’s national rail network were due to be published on December 16, according to the President of the country’s privatisation commission, Copri. Patrick Barclay hopes to complete the process and award contracts by the end of April.

The government plans to award three 30-year operating concessions covering the isolated Enafer networks in central and southern Peru and the autonomous 914mm gauge Southeastern Railway between Cuzco and Machupicchu. The government will retain ownership of the track and stations, but the concessionaires will take over the rolling stock and be responsible for all administration and maintenance.

Over 20 companies have already expressed interest in the concessions, which Barclay says will be awarded on the basis of the best financial return to the state. Among the groups considering bidding is Chile’s CB Transportes Inc which controls the two Bolivian rail networks and the Ferrocarril Arica - La Paz, and Pittsburgh-based Railroad Development Corp.