Brightline, the US rail provider that runs a passenger line in Florida, has chosen Siemens Mobility as its “preferred bidder” to provide rolling stock on its new venture Brightline West. 

The contract will provide for a fleet of 20 EMU trainsets and a 30-year maintenance agreement. 

Brightline West is a new high-speed project that will connect Southern California and Los Angeles with Las Vegas in Nevada. It broke ground on construction in April.

“Just as we redefined train travel with our trainsets for Brightline Florida, we are excited to pioneer this new frontier of manufacturing and development for Brightline West,” said Michael Reininger, Brightline’s CEO. 

“The momentum we are building will culminate in new jobs and a new supply chain that will establish the foundation for a high-speed rail industry from coast to coast,” Reininger added.  

Although the details of the contracts are not yet decided, including vital points such as passenger layout, speed and performance, and manufacturing schedules, this initial agreement is unlikely to change. The price has also not yet been agreed.

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Brightline has chosen 10 American Pioneer 220 trains for its fleet, a US-specific platform that is based on the Velaro units currently in service in Europe. The units will be manufactured in the US, but negotiations are ongoing to decide the location of a new Siemens Mobility US facility where this will happen. This will be announced when contracts are finalized, according to the two companies.

Siemens described the high-speed EMUs as “a new generation of innovative high-speed technology, featuring the latest in passenger experience, cutting-edge digital technology, and a revolutionary propulsion system.” 

The AP220 features an ultrawide car body designed with accessibility in mind, allowing wheelchair users to move from car to car. The seven-car trains will carry between 430-450 passengers, depending on the final configuration, and can make the trip in less than two hours at 220mph. 

“We are excited to work with Brightline to transform rail in America. The high-speed chapter of America’s rail story will build on Siemens’ 40 years of designing, building, testing, delivering and maintaining trains in the United States,” Marc Buncher, Siemens Mobility North America CEO said in a statement. 

“On behalf of our 4,500 rail employees across the United States, we are excited to be selected to build and maintain America’s first true high-speed trains, which will feature some of the world’s most innovative high-speed rail technology. When they enter service, it will be one of the most pivotal moments in the history of American rail.”

The 30-year maintenance agreement will be centred at Brightline West’s Vehicle Maintenance Facility in Sloan, Nevada, to create high-quality jobs in the region. 

Siemens Mobility was also selected by Brightline to provide its Venture-class rolling stock for its existing Florida line.