At least three foreign companies are interested in taking part in the construction of an interoceanic train line running across Honduras from the Caribbean to the Pacific Ocean, officials said.

The head of the Honduran Congress' Public Works Committee, Miguel Angel Gamez, said on Radio America Friday that the interested firms are from Canada, China and Italy.

Gamez added that one of the companies is China's Harbour Engineering Company, whose executives on July 10 signed an agreement with the Public Works, Transportation and Housing Secretariat for the project's feasibility study.

Gamez did not identify the companies from Canada and Italy, nor did he give any estimate of what the project might cost.

"This is a great step forward that will make our country a leader, not only in Central American but in all Latin America, since we are blessed by God with two deep bays," he said.

The project consists of connecting Puerto Castilla on the Caribbean with Amapala on El Tigre Island in the Gulf of Fonseca, which Honduras shares in the Pacific with El Salvador and Nicaragua by means of some 10 railroad lines.

Puerto Castilla is some 41.5 meters (1,360 feet) deep, while Ampala is 32.5 meters (1,065 feet) deep, which will allow the entry of up to 300,000-ton ships, according to the project's promoters. EFE