The California High-Speed Rail Authority has approved the release of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to industry for design services for track and overhead contact systems (OCS) for the initial 275 km (171 miles) Merced – Bakersfield high speed rail section.
The Statements of Qualifications are due to be submitted on January 22, 2024, and the contract execution and issuance, in April 2024.
With a total contract value of up to USD 131.2 million and potential extension options, this procurement process will allow the authority to produce high-level designs for track and systems for the Merced – Bakersfield high speed rail line, including detailed designs for the 191.5 km (119 miles) stretch currently under active construction within that Central Valley section.
The design work covers the track system, including the track structure, OCS, along-track cable containment, across-track ducts, access walkways, fencing, and drainage.
In October 2022, the authority opted to let a previous RFQ for procurement of a track and systems contractor expire due to the economic climate, supply-chain challenges and 40-year high inflation.
The authority has since developed a new procurement strategy, considering extensive industry feedback and adjusting to program needs. The track and OCS design services contract is an important step in the new procurement strategy.
Since the start of construction, the authority has created more than 11,000 construction jobs, a majority going to residents from the Central Valley.
The authority has begun work to extend the 119 miles (191.5 km) under construction to 171 miles (275 km) of double track electrified high-speed rail from Merced to Bakersfield. There are more than 25 active construction sites in California’s Central Valley, with the authority having environmentally cleared 679.1 km (422 miles) of the high-speed rail program from the Bay Area to the Los Angeles Basin.
The approval “allows us to move forward and get this transformative project into operation as soon as possible. This is a critical step in our new procurement strategy and yet another important milestone for us to deliver high-speed rail service in the Central Valley and statewide,” the Chairman of the Board Chair Tom Richards said.
This is the second essential procurement procedure launched by the California High-Speed Rail Authority this year. In August a RFQ has been issued for the acquisition of six high-speed trains that will be put into operation on the Merced – Bakersfield high speed rail section in 2030.