USA: The California, Illinois, Michigan and Missouri state departments of transportation have selected Sumitomo Corp of America for a jointly-awarded contract to supply 130 double-deck coaches.

Sumitomo Corp submitted a bid of $352·3m, and was named the preferred choice on September 26. The contract is expected to be finalised in November, subject to a Buy America audit of the planned production processes. The coaches are to be built at the Nippon Sharyo plant in Rochelle, Illinois, with deliveries scheduled to run from late 2015 to early 2018.

'By pooling our resources, all four states involved in this partnership can purchase the equipment at lower costs because it will be acquired in high volume under one contract,' said Malcolm Dougherty, director of Caltrans which is leading the procurement.

The Federal Railroad Administration is providing grants for the coaches as part of a $808m package of locomotive and rolling stock investment.

'Because multiple states have for the first time pooled their resources and settled on a standardised design, this top-of-the-line equipment can be purchased, repaired, and maintained for the lowest possible price', said federal Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.

Joint coach order

CustomerCoaches Routes
California 42
  • Capitol Corridor (Sacramento - Oakland - San Jose)
  • San Joaquin (San Francisco Bay Area/Sacramento - Bakersfield/Southern California)
  • Pacific Surfliner (San Luis Obisbo - Los Angeles - San Diego)
Midwest Coalition (Illinois, Michigan, Missouri) 88
  • Blue Water (Chicago - Port Huron)
  • Wolverine (Chicago - Detroit-Pontiac)
  • Pere Marquette (Chicago - Grand Rapids)
  • Illini/Saluki (Chicago - Carbondale)
  • Lincoln Service (Chicago - St Louis)
  • Missouri River Runner (St Louis - Kansas City)
  • Illinois Zephyr/Carl Sandburg (Chicago - Quincy)
  • future Chicago - Dubuque/Quad Cities/Iowa City services