THE ARGENTINIAN government has invited bids for a turnkey contract to build a high speed line between Buenos Aires and Mendoza, currently 1 058 km by rail from the capital.

As with the route to Córdoba where the Veloxia consortium has been selected (RG 8.07 p504), bidders have been asked to price a diesel option for speeds up to 160 km/h. The government has specified that at least 50% of infrastructure work should be undertaken by domestic suppliers, who would be responsible for 40% of rolling stock production.

Funding for the route to Córdoba has yet to be agreed, but it is expected that the project may receive part of the 1·3bn pesos to be allocated to the transport secretariat by means of an emergency decree. Around half of the total would be used to meet the increased operating costs of public transport operators in Buenos Aires, maintaining low ticket prices.