Friday, August 09, 2013

FRA issues RFP for PRIIA 305 HrSR locomotives

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
The Federal Railroad Administration has issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) for 35 high-performance diesel-electric locomotives built to standardized technical specifications developed by the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) Section 305 Next Generation Corridor Equipment Pool Committee.

The RFP comes from a multi-state effort to jointly purchase standardized rail equipment for state HrSR (higher speed rail) corridors in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Iowa in the Midwest and Washington, California, and Oregon on the West Coast. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is leading the multi-state locomotive procurement, with first deliveries expected in 2016. The FRA has allocated $808 million to manufacture the 35 locomotives and 130 bilevel railcars.

From the RFP’s Executive Summary:

• The locomotive shall be diesel-electric powered (related alternative technologies will be considered) for use in intercity corridor and commuter passenger service.

• The locomotive shall be capable of operating at a sustained speed of 125 mph, as defined by 49CFR Section 238.5/Tier 1, on all classes of track maintained to FRA standards.

• The locomotive shall comply in all respects with the applicable standards and recommended practices of the FRA, AAR, APTA, Amtrak, and all applicable Federal and State laws, rules, and regulations and all industry recommended practices in effect at the time of the signing of the contract.

• Basic features and characteristics shall include diesel-electric propulsion with AC traction motors; lowest possible weight and unsprung mass; streamlined design; full width locomotive cab; environmental and operating conditions as specified in PRIIA Specification 305-912 (full rated power at ambient temperatures of up to 104 degrees F and altitudes of up to 1300 feet above sea level; EPA Tier 4 emissions; high fuel efficiency, in particular with regard to specific passenger service requirements; modular design; low maintenance and life cycle costs; electronically controlled air brake; dynamic brake with blending operation; minimum starting tractive effort of 65,000 pounds; push-pull and multiple-unit (MU) operation; traction power sufficient for an eight multi-level-car train (two locomotives) at 125 mph; Three-phase 480V 600kW minimum
Head End Power (HEP), using standard 27-pin trainline equipment; 1,800-gallon (US) fuel tank; estimated operating range of 1,100 to 1,250 miles; the ability to operate at 6 inches of cant deficiency (in accordance with 49CFR Section 213.57 and 49CFR Part 329); Crash Energy Management (CEM); and compliance with Amtrak Clearance Diagram D-05-1355 (latest revision).

• The minimum design service life shall be 25 years. Service life should apply to the entire locomotive except consumables as well as planned overhauls and replacements.

• Within the 180 days following the contract award, the contractor shall submit a detailed static outline diagram of the proposed locomotive. This diagram shall also show the dynamic movement of the locomotive and carbody about its center of gravity and roll axis, and it shall indicate the change in vertical height for new and fully worn wheels, and for full and empty supplies 
Also indicated on this diagram shall be locomotive length and truck centers; maximum pilot and mid-point lateral offsets for 2-degree curvature and 7 inches superelevation.

• The locomotive’s trucks shall have either a four-wheel or six-wheel design. The trucks shall be optimized with regard to minimized dynamic forces vertical and lateral; minimized unsprung mass; high running stability; minimized wear; minimized load transfer between axles at high traction force; and easy maintenance and replacement. All AAR conventions as to the identification of ends, sides, and wheel and bearing locations shall be used.

• Maintainability and ease of access to locomotive components shall be designed into the locomotive body. No component or system shall require less than 92-day service intervals, except for brake shoes or brake pads, fuel, sand, water, oil, and other consumable items.

“The new uniform standards will drive down costs and allow more manufacturers and suppliers to compete, fostering a healthy competition while re-establishing the U.S. domestic supply chain for passenger rail equipment,” said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo. “The intent to purchase 35 new locomotives comes as intercity passenger rail ridership continues to post and exceed ridership records. Last year, Amtrak carried more than 31.2 million passengers, marking the highest annual ridership total since it started operations in 1971, and the ninth ridership record during the past ten years. The state corridor routes where these new locomotives will be deployed are among those services with the highest ridership growth. We’re taking historic steps to build the rail system our economy needs and—more important—that Americans deserve, all while creating American jobs. The need for new rail equipment has never been greater, and the more than 750 railroad suppliers located in the United States are up to the job.”

Selection of the manufacturer will occur in early 2014. Delivery of the locomotives is planned for 2016. The complete RFP is available on the IDOT website and can be downloaded by clicking this link.

These locomotives will be the second procured under PRIIA 305 specifications. Electro-Motive Diesel on May 31 signed an agreement with the Southern California Regional Rail Authority to supply up to 20 new-design EMD F125 low-emission Spirit series diesel-electric passenger locomotives for operation on Metrolink, the regional passenger rail service provider in Southern California. Metrolink is the first passenger railroad to purchase new locomotives designed to meet U.S. EPA Tier 4 emissions standards. Delivery will begin in 2015.