Amtrak and the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) issued a request for proposals to build modern, state-of-the-art high-speed trainsets. The trainsets are essential to meeting Amtrak’s critical short-term need to expand the capacity of its current Northeast Corridor (NEC) high-speed service and meeting the long-term operational needs of both Amtrak and the Authority. Amtrak is seeking up to 28 high-speed trainsets, each with between 400 and 450 seats, which can meet or exceed current Acela Express trip-times on the existing NEC infrastructure between Washington, New York and Boston. The Authority is seeking an initial order of 15 trainsets which will have a minimum of 450 seats that can meet its planned trip-time requirements for service from the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles on what will be largely brand new infrastructure.
A goal of the procurement is to identify whether established high-speed rail equipment manufacturers have service-proven designs that can meet both the short-term needs of Amtrak and the long-term operational needs of the Authority and Amtrak with little or no modification. It is also hoped that the joint procurement of equipment with a large degree of commonality will result in lower unit acquisition and life cycle costs for both Amtrak and the Authority, while helping expand the U.S. role in high-speed rail equipment manufacturing.
“With packed trains and increasing demand, the need to expand the capacity of Amtrak’s high-speed service cannot be overstated,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman. “It is absolutely critical that we get more high-speed trains as soon as possible to provide more service and meet the growing mobility and economic needs of the Northeast region.”
Only current manufacturers of high-speed rail equipment, which the partners define as manufacturers with equipment in commercial operation at speeds of at least 160 mph (257 kph) for at least two years, will be eligible to submit a bid. Proposals are due May 17 and it is expected that a builder will be selected by the end of 2014.
More info on https://procurement.amtrak.com