BRAZIL: Bids are to be invited in May for a 35-year concession to build and operate the long-planned Airport Express rail link in São Paulo, with the aim of having the line in service by the end of 2011.

The state government hopes to receive bids for the US$800m finance-design-build-operate concession by August, and to award a contract by the end of this year. Test running would start in March 2010.

The 28·1 km electrified standard gauge line will link Guarulhos airport with the city-centre station at Luz, paralleling CPTM's existing broad gauge suburban Line F for about half of its length. Services would run every 10 to 15 min, offering an end-to-end journey time of 20 min. At a single fare of US$16·50, compared to the taxi fare of US$50, the line is projected to be earning revenues of up to US$250m a year by 2025. This would give a return on investment of between 10% and 15% per year.

The concessionaires would also be expected to build a short section of broad gauge from a flying junction with Line F at USP Leste to Cecap alongside the airport line, enabling CPTM to introduce a suburban service to Guarulhos city from September 2010. Known as Line G, this route would be 20·2 km long with six stations. The broad-gauge spur would cost US$180m to build, and would be handed over to CPTM on completion.