The Slovakian Rail Administration has awarded a €52.8m (SEK540m) contract to Swedish firm Skanska to construct a rail tunnel.

The tunnel is part of an approximate €1.3bn rail expansion project for a 17.7km section of the Nove Mesto-Zlatovce rail line in Western Slovakia.

The 1,800m tunnel will be designed to accommodate double tracks for high-speed trains.

Work will begin shortly and finish in April 2013.

The total rail expansion will be carried out by a consortium of Skanska and Czech and Slovakian companies, with Skanska holding a 20% share valued at €264m in the project.