Chicago to publish RFP for railcars and locomotives

The Board of Directors of Chicago’s rail commuter, Metra, authorized the agency to move forward with requests for proposals (RFPs) for the design and production of new railcars and locomotives to begin to replace its aging fleet.
The railcar RFP, which will be published next week, will provide for at least 25 new railcars plus as many more railcars above that amount as possible. The exact number will depend on the responses to the RFP, the amount of funding available and whether Metra can use financing alternatives, such as leasing, to maximize its funding.
Metra expects to award the contract for new railcars in the first quarter of 2018. Delivery of the first cars will be part of the negotiations and dependent upon the manufacturer’s capacity to build.
The locomotive RFP, which will be published during the third quarter of 2017, will provide for a base order of 10 locomotives plus as many more as possible.
Metra expects to award the contract for new locomotives later in 2018, with delivery of the first locomotive in 2020. New locomotives will allow Metra to begin to replace outdated diesel locomotives serving Chicago Union Station with modern, cleaner-burning engines.
The Board also authorized a settlement agreement with Sumitomo Corp. of America to deliver seven railcars to Metra in exchange for releasing the company from the option Metra recently acquired from Virginia Railway Express (VRE) to purchase 21 railcars and for Nippon Sharyo’s delays in delivering Metra’s order of new cars for the Metra Electric Line. The first of those seven railcars is expected to be delivered in mid-2019. While Metra and Sumitomo have negotiated in good faith since the option was made available in late 2016, both parties have agreed to move forward with the settlement.

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