CHSRA to Release High-Speed Trainset RFP

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
(CHSRA Rendering)

(CHSRA Rendering)

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) on April 11 reported that it will solicit proposals for six high-speed trainsets, including two prototypes to support testing and trial running, from the two prequalified, shortlisted manufacturers: Alstom Transportation Inc. and Siemens Mobility Inc. The cost of the equipment plus a driving simulator is estimated at $533.68 million.

The CHSRA Board approved the release of the Request for Proposals (RFP), covering trainset design, manufacture, delivery, integration, testing, and commissioning, according to CHSRA. The RFP will be due this fall, and the agency expects to award a contract by the end of the year.

The trainsets will be capable of operating at speeds of up to 220 mph and tested up to 242 mph, the agency reported. According to the RFP scope, the two prototypes to support static/dynamic testing and trial running are to be delivered four years from Notice to Proceed, and the four production trainsets to support revenue operations of the “Early Operating Segment”—the 171-segment from Merced to Bakersfield (see map, right)—are to be ready for revenue service by 2030-33.

The scope (download below) also includes:

  • “Maintenance of each trainset for 30 years, including a mid-life overhaul, and provision of all spares (i.e., interchangeable parts of a trainset) for such trainsets.
  • “Design, manufacture, installation, testing, commissioning, maintenance, and update of the driving simulator.
  • “Development and provision of design criteria to inform interfaces with the facilities, track, systems, and stations.
  • “Participating in the testing and commissioning of the facilities, track, systems, and stations.
  • “Development and provision of information to support the certification and subsequent commissioning of the trainsets.
  • “Operation and maintenance of the equipment needed to maintain the trainsets within the Heavy Maintenance Facility (to be built by others).”

CHRSA said the procurement is possible in part due to the nearly $3.1 billion federal grant awarded in December, which included funding for the new Buy America-compliant trainsets. “Trainset design will be informed by formal feedback from hundreds of stakeholders,” according to the agency. Earlier this year, it released renderings and mock-ups of potential train interiors.

“Today’s [April 11] Board action continues our urgent march to put federal dollars to work, creating new industries and economic opportunity around high-speed rail,” CHSRA Board Chair Tom Richards said. “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.”

California high-speed rail is currently under construction along 119 miles in the Central Valley, where there are more than 25 active job sites, and CHSRA reported that it has begun work to expand construction. Additional advanced design is said to be proceeding on stations and the 52 miles of extensions into downtown Merced and into downtown Bakersfield. The 494-mile, Phase I system will operate from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim; 422 miles have already been environmentally cleared. The system could eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations.

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