Brazil will open the bidding process this week to build a high-speed train link between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, officials have said.

The $19.44bn project will involve the building of a 510.8km (317 mile) high-speed railway to connect Rio with Sao Paulo and Campinas and will cover seven stations including stops at international airports.

The rail line will allow trains to operate at a top speed of up to 350kmph and crosses an area where nearly 40 million people live.

The railway is expected to be built ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.