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.