Rail

U.S. DOT issues $551M RFPs for American-made railcars

Posted on April 20, 2012

Railcar manufacturers across the country will have an opportunity to submit bids to produce the first American-made, standardized passenger railcars.

The $551 million Request for Proposals (RFP) to manufacture approximately 130 new bi-level passenger railcars in the U.S. comes from a multi-state effort to jointly purchase standardized rail equipment to be used on Amtrak’s intercity routes in California, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, and potentially Iowa. The funding is being provided by the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program.

In preparation for orders such as this, the U.S. Department of Transportation has partnered with the Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) to connect large car builders and more than 34,000 domestic suppliers, and help them retool their production capabilities to meet demand. The MEP connects suppliers with viable business opportunities that may have otherwise gone to foreign suppliers.

The Buy America provision of the RFP requires that all components of the new bi-level cars are built by American workers: with American hands, and with American-produced steel, iron and manufactured goods. The federal government’s investment in passenger rail means more jobs for American workers and domestic companies.

The new uniform standards will drive down lifecycle costs and allow more manufacturers and suppliers to compete, fostering a healthy competition while helping re-establish the U.S. domestic supply chain for passenger rail equipment and meet Buy America goals. The common design also makes it easier to train personnel, stock parts, and perform maintenance and repairs, which also reduces costs and increases equipment reliability.

These state-of-the-art cars will be able to operate nationwide, providing a more comfortable travel experience, and are designed with improved crashworthiness and other safety features to ensure passenger safety. The cars will be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Selection of the manufacturer will occur in the Fall of 2012. The cars will be delivered starting in 2015.

The effort to purchase standardized equipment is led by the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act Section 305 Next Generation Corridor Equipment Pool Committee, comprised of representatives of interested states, the FRA, Amtrak, host freight railroad companies, passenger railroad equipment manufacturers and suppliers, and other passenger railroad operators.  The Committee has also completed specifications for high-performance diesel locomotives that can travel up to 125 miles-per-hour and for single level passenger railcars.  

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Chicago Transit replacing airport escalator damaged in train wreck

The train wreck, which occurred in the early morning of March 24, 2014, when the operator allegedly fell asleep, injured more than 30 people and caused roughly $9 million in damage. The lead railcar had to be cut up to remove it from the escalator.

DART takes delivery of first streetcar for new service

The vehicle, which was a designed and built by Brookville Equipment Corp., will be the first streetcar in the U.S. that utilizes wireless traction power.

NJ TRANSIT marks Newark Penn Station's 80th year

Opened in 1935, Newark Penn Station is listed on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The station was originally designed and still operates as an intermodal facility serving pedestrian, taxi, bus and private vehicle traffic generated by the more than 50,000 transit customers who use the station each day.

Calgary Transit trains, buses breaking down more often

Part of the problem is an aging fleet, according to officials. Calgary Transit placed a $200-million deal in 2013 to buy 60 new light rail vehicles; however, those vehicles will not be operational until 2016.

Alstom to develop zero-emission train

The new trains for Hermann-Hesse railway line will be completely emission-free. In times of increasing energy costs and higher level of pollution, the development of this technology is essential.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

Please sign in or register to .    Close