SPANISH rolling stock builder Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles has been selected as preferred bidder to supply 54 light rail vehicles to Sacramento’s Regional Transit District. CAF bid US$124·9m compared to US$142m from local firm Siemens Transportation Systems which supplied RT’s 36 original cars. Other bidders were Kinki Sharyo of Japan and Breda of Italy. The contract was expected to be approved by the RT board of directors at a meeting on April 26, enabling production to start next March.

The new cars, which must be compatible with the existing fleet, will be needed to operate RT’s Folsom extension and the new South line which are scheduled to open by 2003. To meet a 60% US content requirement, CAF plans to manufacture the bodyshells in Spain and assemble the cars at a former US Air Force base near Sacramento, which could employ up to 70 staff. The company is already establishing a plant in Maryland to assemble 110 cars for the Washington DC metro.

  • Skoda Dopravni Technika of Plzen in the Czech Republic announced on April 9 that it was negotiating to supply three Astra low-floor LRVs to Washington’s Sound Transit to operate the Tacoma light rail line. ST wants to piggyback its order onto another city’s contract to keep costs down and ensure delivery by the end of 2000. Skoda has recently been selected to build five Astra cars for Portland’s Central City Streetcar (RG 2.99 p70).