The Californian high speed rail programme envisages provision of a 'one seat ride' between Los Angeles and San Francisco by 2028 within a budget of $68bn.

USA: Expressions of interest are to be submitted to the California High Speed Rail Authority by October 22 from potential suppliers of high speed trainsets for the planned 836 km network that would link the San Francisco Bay Area with the Los Angeles basin by 2028.

Issuing its call for initial responses from the supply industry ahead of a formal request for proposals, CHSRA said on October 2 that it hoped to ‘open up conversations with high speed train manufacturers’. Respondents are also expected to outline how they would provide 30 years of maintenance and spares, including proposals for a rolling stock maintenance facility to be located on land in the Central Valley which CHSRA would purchase and prepare.

The procurement process would be compliant with Buy America and Buy California regulations, and is likely to cover a ‘base order with options for up to 95 trainsets’. The authority anticipates that the final design would be a single-deck EMU capable of revenue operation at speeds up to 354 km/h (220 mile/h).

The design would be based on a ‘service-proven trainset in use in commercial high speed service at at least 300 km/h for a minimum of five years’. A maximum train length of 205 m is specified, with a minimum of 450 seats in first and business classes with seat pitches of 1 067 mm and 991 mm respectively. Static axleloads should not exceed 17 tonnes, in line with the European high speed Technical Specification for Interoperability issued in 2008, CHSRA said. The authority added that the resulting firm proposals would be evaluated along ‘best value life-cycle criteria’.

‘We are going to have the first true high-speed rail system in America and industry leaders from around the world are eager to talk to us about why their trains should be running on our tracks’, commented CHSRA Chief Executive Jeff Morales. ‘This is a big moment for our programme.’