The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in the US has amended a $371m multi-state contract involving the delivery of 137 single-level passenger railcars intended for operation across California and the Midwest.

Sumitomo Corporation of Americas has agreed to work with Siemens to deliver 49 vehicles to Caltrans and 88 to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) as part of the revised deal.

Siemens replaces Nippon Sharyo of Japan as contractor for the initiative under the amended arrangement.

The new railcars are set to be built at Siemens’ rail manufacturing hub in Sacramento, which features engineering and manufacturing capabilities for passenger coaches, as well as electric and diesel-electric locomotives, light rail, and streetcars.

Caltrans director Malcolm Dougherty said: “This contract is moving full-speed ahead and that is good news for Californians, both in terms of job creation and better passenger rail service.

“Caltrans and IDOT are ready for these new railcars to provide additional seating capacity for our busy trains and support planned improvements to passenger service.”

“Caltrans and IDOT are ready for these new railcars to provide additional seating capacity for our busy trains and support planned improvements to passenger service.”

The new coaches will feature spacious and modern interiors, bike racks, overhead luggage storage, work tables, restrooms with touchless controls and full ADA accessibility throughout the vehicles.

Additionally, the railcars will possess spacious seats with convenient power outlets, large windows for better views and Wi-Fi accessibility.

The coaches are expected to operate on intercity rail lines throughout California, which serve nearly six million passengers per year.

The production of the first railcars is expected to commence within the next 12 months.