Metrolink readies for O&M contract

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

Metrolink, Southern California’s regional/commuter rail service, is preparing to release a request for proposals (RFP) for its first-ever combined O&M (operations and maintenance) contract, and will hold an event on Feb. 15 and 16 in Pomona, Calif., for interested contractors, subcontractors, vendors and suppliers who have expertise and/or offer services or products to the rail industry. “This will be an opportunity for the industry to preview a draft RFP, provide feedback, obtain more information about Metrolink operations and tour Metrolink facilities,” the agency announced Jan. 25.

Metrolink has approved the scope of work to combine its operations and maintenance contracts. The anticipated term of the resulting contract, which the agency says will be the largest in its 26-year history, will be for a base period of seven years with two optional renewal periods of four years each. The expected contract will involve a wide array of primary operational functions, as well as related ancillary services required to support all aspects of the rail system. Those operational functions will include:

  • Train operations and crew services.
  • Rolling stock (locomotive and cab car/coach car) maintenance.
  • Signal, communication and train control systems maintenance.
  • Track, structure and right-of-way maintenance.
  • Railroad facilities (yards, buildings) maintenance.
  • Rubber tire non-revenue fleet and specialized equipment maintenance.
  • Rehabilitation/capital maintenance associated with the above.
  • Materials acquisition and management to support the infrastructure, systems and equipment.

Maintenance activities will include inspection and repair of tracks, bridges, structures, wayside signals, communications, rights-of-way, grade crossings and Level 1 train control systems for the entire system. Responsibilities will also include maintenance of SCRRA (Southern California Regional Rail Authority) facilities and all equipment, locomotives, railcars and railcar components, along with mechanisms such as brake systems, motors, seats and passenger communication equipment. Passenger stations are generally owned by the various agencies and will not be included in the procurement.

“We are excited about this procurement in order to make our railroad more efficient and effective,” Metrolink CEO Stephanie Wiggins said. “Our Board of Directors sees this policy shift as an imperative step in continuing Metrolink’s path toward being the preferred transportation option over driving in Southern California.” The February event “is optional, [but] all parties interested in the upcoming procurement are encouraged to attend. It will be a time for companies of all sizes to meet and greet the Metrolink team, as well as an opportunity for them to network for the purpose of creating teaming arrangements. The event will cover issues related to the involvement of small businesses, including Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) requirements. The DBE goal has yet to be established, but Metrolink is working with consultants, and the goal will be included in the RFP upon release.”

The final RFP is expected to be released in Spring 2019, with mandatory pre-proposal meetings and tours following the issuance of the RFP. To sign up for updates and get more information about this procurement, visit This webpage will be updated regularly.

Metrolink, in its 26th year of operation, is governed by SCRRA, a joint powers authority made up of an 11-member board representing the transportation commissions of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. Metrolink operates seven routes on a 538-route-mile network.

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