The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has awarded a $352 million contract to Nippon Sharyo Ltd. to build 130 passenger cars for high-speed rail systems in the Midwest and California, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's office announced yesterday.
The contract will allow rail-car manufacturer Nippon Sharyo, which Quinn recruited to Illinois, to build the state-of-the-art, bi-level cars at its Rochelle plant for delivery starting in 2015, state and federal officials said in a prepared statement.
The new cars are designed for operation at speeds up to 125 mph and will be equipped to deal with extreme weather throughout the country.
The awarding of the contract from a joint procurement between the Illinois Department of Transportation and Caltrans is the final step in a first-of-its-kind, multi-state procurement that also will result in new rail cars being delivered to Michigan and Missouri, state and federal officials said.
California will buy 42 cars and the Midwest coalition of states (Illinois, Missouri and Michigan) will purchase 88 cars, which will operate out of Amtrak's Chicago hub.
"This new era of passenger rail will give travelers better, faster transportation options and create jobs for American workers building the 130 rail cars in Illinois," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
The competitively-bid contract for the rail cars was won by Sumitomo Corp. of America, which will deliver them through its car-builder subcontractor, Nippon Sharyo. The procurement is being funded by the Federal Railroad Administration.
Sumitomo and Nippon Sharyo have supplied 900 commuter-rail cars in the North American market since the 1990s.
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