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The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has issued a "Notice of Intent to Award" to Siemens USA to design, build and deliver 35 new diesel-electric locomotives on behalf of state transportation departments in Illinois, California, Michigan, Washington and Missouri, IDOT officials announced yesterday.The announcement means that Illinois, which is leading the multi-state locomotive procurement, has taken the next step to purchase the locomotives, which will be built to travel up to 125 mph and meet new federal Tier 4 emissions standards, IDOT officials said in a press release.The notice of intent means a potential vendor has been identified. A contract still needs to be awarded before the purchase can proceed, they said.
"We are taking another major step forward in this tremendous effort that will create jobs and provide better, faster passenger service," Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said. "We are proud to lead the multi-state procurement effort for these machines and look forward to the day when they will be pulling high-speed passenger trains through Illinois."
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) allocated $808 million to fund the manufacturing of the next generation of passenger-rail equipment, including 35 new locomotives and 130 bi-level rail cars. The locomotives will meet standards developed by Amtrak, states, FRA and rail industry experts under the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008. The locomotives and all component parts will be built in the United States, likely in Sacramento, Calif.
"This award creates jobs, spurs economic growth and further lays the foundation for a sustainable, long-term passenger rail network in the United States," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.