The state of São Paulo, Brazil will soon have a major new rail connection between two of its biggest cities after the governor approved a 14.2bn reais ($2.7bn) contract. 

The Intercity Eixo Norte project will connect the state’s capital São Paulo with its third largest city Campinas via Jundiaí with a 101km rail line carrying an express service. 

São Paulo’s Governor Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas signed the concession contract for the project, officially granting responsibility for construction and 30 years of operation to the C2 Mobilidade Sobre Trilhos consortium made up of Brazil’s Comporte Participações and China’s CRRC Hong Kong after it won the bid at an auction in February

Freitas described the project as “one of the most important” of his administration, he said: “We will shorten travel time, bring comfort, improve mobility and reduce emissions thanks to all the benefits that we can gain with a project of this magnitude.” 

In addition to the express service line, the project includes two other lines, the new 44km Intermetropolitan Train (TIM) line between Campinas and Jundiaí and the state metro network’s existing 57km Line 7 from Jundiaí to São Paulo, with the operation of that line passing from state rail company CPTM to the C2 consortium. 

Work on the project will begin with a preliminary planning phase this year, followed by the presentation of financing, resettlement and operational transition plans in time for construction to begin in June 2026. 

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The contract requires construction work to begin within two years of the concession agreement’s formalisation and expects work on TIM and Line 7 to finish by 2029, though Line 7 is expected to continue commercial operations throughout the works, once operational control has passed to C2 in 2026. 

Meanwhile, work on the express service line is expected to finish in 2030 with commercial operations to begin in 2032 after a year of testing. 

The express service will see trains running at speeds up to 140 km/h, making them the fastest in Brazil and reducing the travel time between Campinas and São Paulo to just 64 minutes. 

At full capacity services across the three lines are expected to carry 672,000 passengers per day, the majority of which will be on Line 7, which can carry 400,000 people per day.

The signing of the Eixo Norte contracts came as part of a wider ceremony where Governor Freitas launched more than 40 transport projects for the state under his SP Nos Trilhos scheme.