CRH380 (China Railway High-speed) Harmony bullet trains are seen at a high-speed train maintenance base in Wuhan, Hubei province, early Dec 25, 2012. [Photo / Agencies]
Mexico abruptly withdrew a multi-billion-dollar contract on Thursday that it had awarded to a Chinese-led consortium to build the country's first bullet train, AFP reported on Friday.
The report quoted Transport Minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza as saying President Enrique Pena Nieto decided "moments ago to revoke the November 3 ruling and restart" the bidding process.
Mexico's Ministry of Communications and Transport announced on Nov 3 that the only bidder, a Chinese-led group headed by China Railway Construction Corp and including a handful of Mexican construction firms, had been granted the contract to bring the first high-speed rail line to Latin America.
The 50.8 billion peso ($3.7 billion) project involves building a 210-kilometer high-speed line to connect the capital, Mexico City, with the growing industrial hub of Queretaro to the north by 2017.
On completion, the bullet train will cut travel time from about two and a half hours to less than an hour, with trains traveling at a maximum of 300 km/h.
The deal was revoked to avoid "any doubts about the legitimacy and transparency" of the bidding process after only one group participated, the report cited the minister.
Chinese-led consortium wins Mexico high-speed rail project