Florida planners expect at least eight major bids from international companies and their U.S. partners to build high-speed rail in the state. Potential contractors include Germany's Siemens, France's Alstom, Canada's Bombardier and Asia's Central Japan Railway -- all of which have years of bullet-train experience. So many bids "makes for good competition, so it will be difficult to whittle down the bids," said Kevin Thibault, head of rail enterprise for Florida's Transportation Department.

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