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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

USDOT opens bidding for USA-made passenger-rail cars


On Friday, the U.S. Department of Transportation began soliciting manufacturers to submit bids to build the first U.S.-made, standardized passenger-rail cars as part of the federal “Buy America” provision.

The $551 million request for proposals (RFP) to manufacture 130 new bi-level cars in the United States is the result of a new, multi-state effort to jointly purchase standardized rail equipment to be used on Amtrak’s intercity routes in California, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri and, potentially, Iowa, USDOT officials said in a prepared statement.

The funding is being provided through the Federal Railroad Administration’s High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program.

The USDOT has partnered with the Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership to connect large car builders with more than 34,000 domestic suppliers to help them retool their plants to meet demand.

“We’ve laid a solid foundation in bringing rail equipment manufacturers and suppliers together so we can make these cars in America and create American jobs,” said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo. “As part of the Obama administration’s focus on revitalizing American manufacturing opportunities, building standardized rolling stock will provide an unprecedented opportunity to leverage Buy America requirements, ensuring maximum economic benefit for taxpayer-funded transportation investments.”

The RFP’s Buy America provision requires that all components of the new cars are built by American workers, with American-produced steel, iron and manufactured goods.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/23/2012