Bombardier Inc said on Wednesday that its Chinese joint venture received an order for 640 high-speed train cars from the Chinese Ministry of Railways.

The order for Bombardier Sifang Power (Qingdao) Transportation Ltd. is valued at $1.5 billion, with Bombardier's share totaling $596 million. The trains will be made at Bombardier Sifang Power facilities in Qingdao, China.

The order calls for delivering 40 of Bombardier's electric 16-car trainsets, which are capable of reaching speeds of 250 kilometres an hour. Deliveries are scheduled for February 2009 to August 2010.

It is the largest single order for rail passenger cars placed at one time in Chinese rail history, Bombardier said in a release.

Bombardier Sifang Power is a joint venture between Bombardier Transportation, Power Corp of Canada and China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Industry (Group) Corporation.

($1=$0.96 Canadian)