CHSRA Issues RFQ for Electrified High-Speed Trainsets

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
Image Courtesy of CHSRA

Image Courtesy of CHSRA

The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s (CHSRA) Board of Directors on Aug. 24, as part of a two-step procurement process, approved the release of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to industry for the nation’s first 220 mph electrified high-speed trainsets.

According to CHSRA, the Authority anticipates receiving Statements of Qualifications (SOQs) from prospective trainset manufacturers in November 2023. Once received, CHSRA will evaluate the SOQs and create a shortlist of qualified teams capable of delivering high-speed trainsets and release a Request for Proposal (RFP) in the first quarter of 2024.

“Our action today allows us to deliver on our commitment to meet our federal grant timelines to start testing,” said CHSRA Board Chair Tom Richards. “This is an important milestone for us to deliver high-speed rail service in the Central Valley and eventually into Northern and Southern California.”

This trainset procurement process, CHSRA says, will allow the Authority to:

  • Procure six trainsets capable of operating at 220 mph and tested up to 242 mph.
  • Receive two prototypes in 2028 to support static/dynamic testing and trial running.
  • Receive an additional four trainsets by the end of 2030 to support revenue operations on the 171-mile Merced to Bakersfield section.

“These trainsets ensure that we are procuring the latest generation of high-speed trains for this first-in-the-nation project,” said CHSRA CEO Brian Kelly. “We look forward to working with members of the industry as we strive to develop a market for high-speed trains in the United States.”

According to CHSRA, the scope of work for the contract is anticipated to include:

  • The design, manufacturing, storage (before conditional acceptance), integration, testing and commissioning of the trainsets.
  • Maintenance of each trainset for 30 years and provision of all spares (i.e., interchangeable parts of a trainset) for such trainsets.
  • The provision, testing, commissioning, maintenance and update of the driving simulator; development and provision of design criteria to inform interfaces with the facilities, track, and systems.
  • Participating in the testing and commissioning of the facilities, track, systems and stations; the development and provision of information as required to support the certification and subsequent commissioning of the trainsets.
  • The operation and maintenance of the Heavy Maintenance Facility, Light Maintenance Facility and Trainset Certification Facility (to be built by others). 

Since the start of construction, CHSRA has created more than 11,000 construction jobs, a majority going to residents from the Central Valley.

CHSRA has begun work to extend the 119 miles under construction to 171 miles of future electrified high-speed rail from Merced to Bakersfield. There are more than 30 active construction sites in California’s Central Valley, with CHSRA having environmentally cleared 422 miles of the high-speed rail program from the Bay Area to the Los Angeles Basin.

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