California high speed rail project train impression

USA: The California High-Speed Rail Authority board has approved the release of a request for proposals for the supply and maintenance of high speed trainsets.

Alstom Transportation and Siemens Mobility have prequalified for the process. Their proposals are to be submitted this autumn, with the authority aiming to award a contract by the end of the year.

The contract is to cover two prototype trainsets to be delivered for testing and trial running within four years of the noticed to proceed, and four production trainsets for passenger services on the initial 275 km Merced to Bakersfield early operating segment of the planned high speed line from 2030-33. The trainsets must be capable of operating at 355 km/h (220 miles/h) and tested up to 390 km/h (242 miles/h).

The contract would include a driving simulator, spare parts and 30 years of maintenance, including a mid-life overhaul.

The federal funding contribution requires compliance with Buy America rules, although waivers may be sought for components which cannot be sourced domestically.

‘Today’s board action continues our urgent march to put federal dollars to work, creating new industries and economic opportunity around high-speed rail’, said board Chair Tom Richards on April 11. ‘By the end of this year, we will know who will build California’s first high speed trains, setting the course for better, more accessible rail travel in California.’