MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -Mexico's Transport Ministry said on Tuesday it received five proposals from interested parties to participate in the roll-out of a project to boost passenger transport on railways being developed across the country.
The ministry did not identify which companies had expressed interest, but Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) told Reuters it had filed a proposal.
The transport arm of conglomerate Grupo Mexico, a major operator, declined to comment.
Mexico's antitrust authority in 2021 estimated that some 80% of the country's railroads were managed by the two firms, with a further 12% held by state-owned Ferrocarril del Istmo.
Mexico's railway infrastructure, covering much of the country's vast terrain and connecting to the United States, is almost exclusively used for freight transportation, but the government is looking to expand its passenger routes.
The ministry's announcement comes a day after the deadline for proposals, set out in a decree late last year that called for plans from concession holders outlining how their freight railways could be adapted for passenger use.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, whose term ends this year, said last November that if companies decide not to provide passenger services the government would do so.
The government has prioritized development on seven routes that span northern border cities, the Gulf and Pacific coasts, major cities in central Mexico, and the capital's secondary Felipe Angeles international airport.
(Reporting by Noe Torres, Valentine Hilaire and Sarah Morland; Editing by Leslie Adler)