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Brazil to auction bullet train construction rights

Brazil's Transportation Ministry plans an auction in the last quarter of 2009 for the rights to build the country's first high-speed rail line.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Brazil's Transportation Ministry plans an auction in the last quarter of 2009 for the rights to build the country's first high-speed rail line.

Marcelo Perrupato is the ministry's national policy director. He says the 34.6 billion real ($18.4 billion), 317-mile (510-kilometer) line will connect the international airports of Sao Paulo, Campinas and Rio de Janeiro.

Perrupato says in a statement the winning bidder will have to transfer technology.

Perrupato said Thursday that the bullet train will take 105 minutes to travel between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, a 45-minute plane ride or nearly five-hour car trip.

He did not say when construction would begin. It is expected to begin operating by the 2014 World Cup.