RFQ issued for California high-speed trains

California high-speed train fleetA Request for Qualifications (RFQ) has been issued for the procurement of California high-speed train fleet able to run at a speed of up to 350 km/h.
The action, approved by the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s Board of Directors, is part of a two-step procurement process.

The authority expects getting Statements of Qualifications (SOQs) from prospective rolling stock manufacturers in November 2023.​ Once received, the SOQs will be evaluated and will result in a shortlist of qualified companies capable of delivering high-speed trainsets​ and release a Request for Proposal in the first quarter of 2024 to qualified teams.

The authority will acquire six trains capable of operating at 355 km/h and tested up to 390 km/h. Two prototypes should be delivered in 2028 to support static and dynamic testing and trial running and by 2030 an additional four trainsets are expected to be supplied.

The winner of the contract will be responsible for the design, manufacturing, storage (before conditional acceptance), integration, testing and commissioning of the trainsets. The contract includes the delivery of maintenance of the California high-speed train fleet for 30 years and provision of all spare parts. Under the contract the includes the provision, testing, commissioning, maintenance and update of the driving simulator as well as the development and provision of design criteria to inform interfaces with the facilities, track, and systems.

The manufacturer will participate in the testing and commissioning of the facilities, track, systems and stations and will develop the information as required to support the certification and subsequent commissioning of the trainsets.

In addition, the winner of the contract will operate and maintain the heavy and light maintenance facility and trainset certification facility which will be built by another company.

The train procurement “allows us to deliver on our commitment to meet our federal grant timelines to start testing. This is an important milestone for us to deliver high-speed rail service in the Central Valley and eventually into Northern and Southern California,” the chairman of the board Tom Richards said.

The California high-speed corridor will connect San Francisco and the Los Angeles basin with the possibility to be extended to Sacramento and San Diego totalling 1287 km (800 miles) with up to 24 stations. In addition, the California High-Speed Rail Authority is working with regional partners to implement a state-wide rail modernisation plan that will invest billions of dollars in local and regional rail lines to meet the state’s 21st century transport needs.

The 275 km Merced – Bakersfield section which is now under construction will be the first section of the corridor to enter passenger services. In the first phase, high-speed trains will make 18 daily round trips reducing travel time to 90 minutes from 3 hours currently.

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