August 3, 2011

FRA awards $336M for next-generation trains

California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Missouri will receive $336.2 million from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to purchase next-generation, American-made trains that will run on rail corridors in those states.

Previously awarded rail dollars bring the amount received by these five states and Washington State to $782 million for the purchase of 33 quick-acceleration locomotives and 120 bi-level passenger cars.

California and Illinois reached cooperative agreements with the FRA to begin a multi-state procurement of equipment for passenger rail corridors in California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon and Washington State. Through a joint procurement process states will leverage these federal investments, along with state matching dollars, ensuring taxpayers receive the best possible deal while creating the necessary momentum to encourage manufacturers to build equipment in U.S. plants with American workers and suppliers.

Trains will be designed to travel more than 110 mph along intercity passenger corridors and meet standards developed by the state-led, Next Generation Equipment Committee. This will provide manufacturers with consistent specifications for all passenger trains in the U.S., reducing costs for manufacturers and customers, while providing a boost to the railcar manufacturing industry.

The state partners will now begin a joint procurement process, first issuing a request for information (RFI) and then a request for proposal to allow for an open and competitive process. The RFI is expected to be issued in late summer 2011.

A strict “Buy America” requirement ensures that U.S. manufacturers and workers receive the maximum economic benefits from this federal investment.

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