Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Amtrak equipment needs draw strong supplier interest

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Amtrak’s request for proposals to supply both electric locomotives and new Viewliner 2 single-level passenger rolling stock has generated widespread interest among equipment suppliers, according to Amtrak’s William F. Durham, program director for capital acquisition.

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“We’re happy with the response,” Durham said Tuesday. “All the major players showed up, and considering the other large contracts out there--WMATA, Miami, the PATCO overhaul--we were pleased to see the great attendance at the meetings.”

At the pre-proposal meeting July 20 in Philadelphia, representatives from Alstom, Bombardier Transportation, MotivePower Inc. (Wabtec), Siemens Transportation, GE, EMD, and Patentes Talgo SA were on hand, Durham said. Amtrak plans to order 20 AC propulsion engines capable of 125 mph speeds for use on the Northeast Corridor, with an option for 40 additional units, and expects to award a contract late next March.

At a similar meeting for a Viewliner 2 order of 130 cars, held in Hialeah, Fla., July 23-24, attendees included representatives from Alstom, Kawasaki, Nippon Sharyo, Sumitomo, CAF, and Bombardier, Durham said.

Amtrak’s current breakdown for its 130-car Viewliner 2 order includes 25 sleeping cars, 25 baggage-dorm cars, 25 diners,and 55 baggage cars. An option for 70 cars, if exercised, would add 10 sleepers, 15 baggage-dorm cars, 15 diners, and 30 baggage cars, Durham said. A Viewliner contract is scheduled to be awarded next May.