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April 23, 2012

USDOT invites bids for US passenger cars

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has opened the bidding process for a contract worth $551m to supply 130 double-deck cars for Amtrak services, under a multi-state effort to jointly purchase standardised rail equipment.

By admin-demo

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has opened the bidding process for a contract worth $551m to supply 130 double-deck cars for Amtrak services, under a multi-state effort to jointly purchase standardised rail equipment.

The railcars will be used on intercity routes in California, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri and potentially Iowa.

USDOT secretary Ray LaHood said that this opportunity will be a win-win for both workers and the travelling public as it will help to create manufacturing jobs and support passenger rail.

Each of the trains will be equipped with seating on two levels, Wi-Fi and other amenities. Funding for the trains will be provided by Federal Railroad Administration’s High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program.

California will receive 42 of the 130 new trains, while midwest states will make use of 88 rail cars. The order will produce the first US-made, standardised passenger rail cars in the country as part of the Government’s plan to build nationwide network of high-speed passenger trains.

The USDOT expects to finalise the contract with a domestic manufacturer in early October 2012 with deliveries scheduled for 2015.

The tender requires that car components are built by American workers, including assembly, parts and materials under the Buy America policy.

US Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo said the government has laid a solid foundation in bringing rail equipment manufacturers and suppliers together so it can make these cars in America and create American jobs.

"As part of the Obama Administration’s focus on revitalising American manufacturing opportunities, building standardised rolling stock will provide an unprecedented opportunity to leverage Buy America requirements, ensuring maximum economic benefit for taxpayer-funded transportation investments," Szabo said.

According to the USDOT, the common design makes it easier to train personnel, stock parts and perform maintenance and repairs, which also reduces costs and increases equipment reliability.

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