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California high-speed rail agency recommends German firm as early train operator

The agency's 2016 business plan called for securing an early train operator to provide planing and design input.
Photo – California High-Speed Rail Authority

The California High-Speed Rail Authority's (CHRSA) staff has recommended that DB Engineering and Consulting USA serve as an early train operator for the agency's Central Valley-to-Silicon Valley segment.

The firm's parent is Deutsche Bahn AG, Germany's state-owned rail company. As early train operator, DB Engineering and Consulting would help design and operate the segment in its beginning phases.

"Engaging an early train operator at this stage in the planning and construction process will help the authority shape future procurements and provide important guidance as we continue progress on the nation's first high-speed rail program," said CHSRA spokeswoman Lisa Marie Alley in an email.

The authority's 2016 business plan called for securing an early train operator to provide perspective in the planning and design of track, systems, rolling stock and stations.

Bringing on an early train operator during the current development phase is aimed at improving asset performance and reducing program costs, Alley added.

The early train operator contract would be worth $30 million. CHSRA's board will hear the recommendation at its Oct. 19 meeting.

Awarding the contract to a German company wouldn't cause any issues with the federal Buy America requirements, Alley said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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