May 23, 2012

US DOT invites proposals for Amtrak $US 551 coach contract

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THE United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued a $US 551m Request for Proposals (RFP) for 130 new "standardised" double-deck coaches for use on Amtrak's inter-city routes in California, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, and potentially Iowa.

The RFP has a stringent local content provision requiring all components to be "built by American workers, with American hands, and with American-produced steel, iron, and manufactured goods." A preferred supplier will be announced in the fourth quarter and deliveries will begin in 2015.

DOT says the decision to buy standardised equipment will drive down life-cycle costs and allow more suppliers to compete, fostering competition and helping to re-establish the domestic supply chain for passenger rail vehicles.

The coaches are being funded through the Federal Railroad Administration's High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Programme.

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