Amtrak and California request bids for high-speed train sets


New equipment to expand current NEC high-speed service, Meet long- term operational needs of both projects. Amtrak and the California High-Speed Rail Authority has issued a request for proposals to build modern, state-of-the-art high-speed trainsets. The train sets are essential to meeting Amtrak’s critical short-term need to expand the capacity of its cu rrent Northeast Corridor (NEC) high-speed service and meeting the long-term operational needs of both Amtrak and the Authority.

Amtrak is seeking up to 28 high-speed trainsets, each with between 400 and 450 seats,which can meet or exceed current Acela Express trip- times on the existing NEC infrastructure between Washington, New York and Boston.

The Authority is seeking an initial order of 15 train sets which will have a minimum of 450 seats that can meet its planned trip-time requirements for service from the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles on what will be largely brand new infrastructure.

A goal of the procurement is to identify whether established high-speed rail equipment manufacturers have service-proven designs that can meet both the short-term needs of Amtrakand the long-termoperational needs of the Authority and Amtrak with little or no modification.

It is also hoped that the joint procurement of equipment with a large degree of commonality will result in lower unit acquisition and life cycle costs for both Amtrak and the Authority, while helping expand the U.S. role in high- speed rail equipment manufacturing. “With packed trains and increasing demand, the need to expand the capacit y of Amtrak’s high-speed service cannot be over stated,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman. “It is absolutely critical that we get more high-speed trains as soon as possible to provide more service”.