China’s CSR Corp Ltd is keen to supply high-speed trains to California, a company official said, in a move that will pit the trainmaker against domestic rival China CNR Corp Ltd .

China has made no secret of its desire to export its high-speed technology abroad, having built over 12,000 kilometres of track at home in less than a decade.

CNR and CSR are China’s top locomotive makers, while China Railway Construction Corp Ltd and China Railway Group Ltd build track.

US-based SunGroup USA said earlier this week that it had teamed up with CNR and its unit Tangshan Railway in a pitch to supply California’s US$68 billion (RM221.5 billion) project with up to 95 trains that can travel as fast as 354kph.

“The US is a market that we have been closely watching for many years,” said the official from CSR’s publicity department, who gave his surname as Xu.

“So when they requested expressions of interest, we quickly notified them of ours.”

Xu said CSR would be part of a group of companies including national track operator China Railway Corporation and China Railway Construction planning to pay a promotional visit to the US at the end of this month.

Xu said it was possible for them to design a new high-speed train for the contract based on the California high-speed authority’s specifications, though it would likely use its CRH380A train, which can travel up to 380kph, as a base model.

When asked about CNR, Xu said CSR’s sales pitch did not involve CNR.

Train manufacturers were expected to send in expressions of interest by yesterday to the California High Speed Railway Authority, which will later issue formal requests for proposals.

About a dozen firms from places such as Japan and Spain are expected to compete, the authority said.

Separately yesterday, CNR said on its website that it had been awarded a contract from Massachusetts to build 284 trains for the country’s oldest subway system, the first win for a Chinese railway equipment maker in the US.

Local US media reports said the contract was worth US$566.6 million.

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