A draft of the president’s order to award the contracts to large and mid-sized U.S. firms is due to be released Monday.
The announcement comes as President Barack Obama faces growing criticism from Republicans and industry groups for not awarding the contracts earlier.
The president is expected to make a final decision on the contracts later this month.
“As soon as the president makes a decision, it will be public,” said Robert McDonough, a spokesman for the Commerce Department.
“I don’t want to speculate on when it will happen.
But the timing is going to be critical, because this is an important milestone in a transition.”
Under the order, the companies will be allowed to compete to build the trains and will have to pay for them as part of the $1.9 trillion infrastructure spending package Obama is pushing through Congress.
Many of the companies have already expressed interest in competing on the project, but the president is seeking to encourage them to bid by granting the contracts in an expedited way, allowing companies to begin bidding on the projects immediately.
The order would allow the companies to submit bids by May 17, a date when the government can provide them with more time to complete their bids.
Industry groups have been pressing the administration to approve the contracts immediately, saying they could be the first step toward building a new high speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
A spokesman for President Obama, Michael Froman, said in an email that the administration is “committed to delivering on the promises made to the American people.”
“We are committed to working with industry, and to the millions of American taxpayers who will be impacted by the project in order to get this project built as quickly as possible,” Froman said.
While the order is expected in coming weeks, it could take years to finalize.
In addition to awarding the contract to companies, the president would have to make sure the projects are completed by July 31.
Construction of the high-capacity train is already underway in California, and a state study is underway to determine if the state should pay the companies for the cost overruns they’ve incurred.
This story has been updated to include a statement from the White House.