Four companies, from Japan, South Korea, Spain and Australia are shortlisted to build electric trains for Auckland's urban rail upgrade.
KiwiRail says it received at least a dozen bids for the contract to build 38 units, the first of which is expected to be in use by 2013.
Chief executive Jim Quinn says with no bid from within New Zealand, the companies have been made aware of the capacity for local production for some stages of the train projects.
He says the winning company will be one which can deliver on time and within budget.
The companies have until November to submit final bids.