Mexico has unveiled plans to build its first high-speed railroad linking Mexico City with Querétaro as part of its broader plan to develop an industrial corridor between the two cities.
Querétaro, a booming industrial town about 120 miles north of the capital, is home to more than 150 IT and BPO firms.
According to reports, China’s state-run construction firm China Railway Construction Corp. was the only company to submit a bid, although some firms complained that the timeline for the bid was too short.
The high-speed train is expected to boost Querétaro’s profile, prompting many Mexicans to emigrate to this relatively low-cost city.
It is not clear how much the railway line will cost the government, although China Railway said the project would cost about US$3 billion and generate about 30,000 jobs.
Work on the high-speed rail line is expected to begin later this year and is due to be completed by 2017.
The railway will also ease the transportation of manufacturing goods, further bolstering the aerospace and auto industries that Querétaro is known for. Mexico’s tourism sector will also benefit because some of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, such as the colonial towns of Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende, are located very close to Querétaro.
The high-speed train will be capable of running at more than 180 miles per hour and the government says it may ferry 23,000 passengers a day.
Also on the anvil is an international airport in Querétaro, but it is not yet known when the airport will be ready for operation.
Mexico privatized its railroads in 1997 but failed to attract foreign investment into the sector. The high-speed train, it seems, will mark the beginning of such investments.