News & Reviews News Wire California High-Speed Rail board approves Request for Proposals for trainsets

California High-Speed Rail board approves Request for Proposals for trainsets

By Trains Staff | April 13, 2024

Proposals from Alstom, Siemens due this fall; target is to award contract this year

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Computer rendering of California high speed rail train at dusk
A rendering of a California high speed train. The California High-Speed Rail Authority has approved a Request for Proposals for the system’s first trainsets. California High-Speed Rail Authority

SACRAMENTO — The California High-Speed Rail Authority has taken the next step in purchase of its first trainsets, with the authority’s board approving a Request for Proposals earlier this week for the first equipment that will operate on the line in the state’s Central Valley.

Approval of the request means the Authority will solicit proposals from Alstom Transportation and Siemens Mobility, who were prequalified based on the Request for Qualifications released last year [see “Alstom, Siemens named as potential suppliers …,” Trains News Wire, Jan. 6, 2024[.

Proposals are due this fall, with the goal of selection and signing of a contract by the end of this year. The contract calls for two prototype trainsets to be delivered for testing by 2028 and four trainsets for use on the “early operating segment” between Merced and Bakersfield, Calif., to be ready between 2030 and 2033. The trainsets are to be capable of traveling at 220 mph in regular service. They must be built in the U.S. under terms of the federal grant to fund their purchase [see “California high speed project to receive $3.1 billion …,” News Wire, Dec. 6, 2023]. More complete details of the Request for Proposals are available here.

12 thoughts on “California High-Speed Rail board approves Request for Proposals for trainsets

  1. Brightline named Siemens the winning bidder in September of 2014. The first shells were displayed in 2016. The first completed trainset was delivered in 2018.

    Brightline/Siemens took 4 years from contract to rails.

    In contrast:

    Amtrak signed with Alstom for Acela 2 in August of 2016. The first shells were shown publicly in 2017 and two prototypes were finished in 2020 for testing. In 2024, 15 of the 28 trainsets are in a incomplete state of assembly. The delays were caused by incompatibilities with certain rail types uses in the NEC which required changes. It didn’t pass any NEC simulation until the 14th attempt in January 2024. Exprected to run by end of 2024.

    Amtrak/Acela – 8 years from contract to rails.

    Lessons learned. Try upgrading the rails before you order the equipment.

  2. Wait a minute! Why will it take at least three years for a prototype and at least six years for a working trainset (and then only 4)?????? Why the manufacturing slows?

  3. Am I the only one that thinks that press releases full of puffery are the only thing that the folks at CaHSR can generate on time.

  4. Siemens Mobility has the advantage over Alstom Transportation with the sprawling factory and service facility already at the future online site of California High Speed Rail Authority in Sacramento. Alstom is not faring well with several redesigns of Amtrak’s second generation Acela Express train sets.

  5. Don’t “reinvent the wheel” or try to “customize” beyond colors and paint scheme. Just buy the best, proven equipment you can find! …and make sure you include maintenance and availability as part of the deal!

  6. We in calif have been fleeced for years on this project..half the route construction has not even started always need more money some of the bridges that are built in fresno calif are being taggged by the thugs and now they have approved a high speed rail between la and vegas geez

  7. The amount of pop-up advertisements on this site are out of control. I find little enjoyment reading the newswire while constantly having to hit the X to remove them.

    1. Slowest-responding website I use, including the slow response to that “x”-botton on the pop-ups.

      Back to the topic, perhaps the article might have compared the projected start-date for the Central Valley, to the originally promised start date for the entire railroad end-to-end.

      It’s natural on any news site to have to read a mixture of expert analysis (Bob Johnston, Bill Stephens), along with recycled news releases as in this article. I understand that. Even so,…. well we all know that calHSR is a total fraud.

    2. Try ‘uBlock”, I installed it over a year ago and it’s fantastic. Yes you do have control over what it allows or doesn’t allow. You will be happier.

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