Amtrak is seeking up to 28 high-speed trains, each with between 400 and 450 seats, which can meet or exceed current Acela Express timings on the existing NEC infrastructure between Washington, New York, and Boston. CHSRA plans an initial order of 15 trains with a minimum of 450 seats, which will be used on services from the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles.

CHSRA requires trains with a maximum speed of 320km/h, while the Amtrak sets will initially be used at up to 257km/h, which will be the maximum line speed on the NEC when the trains are delivered, although they will need to be designed for 320km/h operation.

Amtrak says the goal of the procurement is to identify whether established high-speed rolling stock manufacturers can offer proven designs that meet the needs of both Amtrak and CHSRA with little or no modification. Only current manufacturers of high-speed trains will be eligible to bid. This is defined as suppliers of equipment that has been operating at commercial speeds of at least 257km/h for at least two years.

Proposals are due by May 17 and the partners expect to select a preferred supplier by the end of the year.

"This announcement is one more step in our efforts to standardise domestic rail equipment and reinvigorate US manufacturing," said Federal Railroad Administrator Mr Joseph Szabo. "Combining orders between Amtrak and the CHSRA will generate economies of scale and make it more attractive for high-speed rail manufacturers to build factories here in the USA, bringing new high-quality jobs and creating ripple effects throughout our domestic supply chain."