Five International Consortia Apply for California High Speed Rail Contract

Five International Consortia Apply for California High Speed Rail Contract :The California High Speed Rail Authority (CaHSR) published on 4 April 2017 the list of consortia that have supplied statements of qualifications for the Early Train Operator (ETO) contract.

The Request for Qualifications for Early Train Operator was published on 16 December 2016.

Five international consortia have applied, listed below in alphabetical order:

1.China HSR ETO Consortium (China Railway International Co. Ltd., Beijing Railway Administration, China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co. Ltd., China Railway Corporation)
2.DB International US (DB International USA, Deutsche Bahn AG, Alternate Concepts Inc., HDR Inc.)
3.FS First Rail Group (Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane S.p.A., FirstGroup plc, Trenitalia, Rete Ferroviaria Italiana S.p.A., CentoStazioni S.p.A., Italferr S.p.A., McKinsey & Company Inc.)
4.Renfe (RENFE – Operadora, Globalvia Inversiones S.A.U., Adif)
5.Stagecoach Group plc (Stagecoach Group plc, Coach USA Administration Inc.)

Through this procurement, the Authority intends to enter into a partnership with a world-class rail operator to assist in the initial development of the System including the procurement of rolling stock, track and systems, and stations; and to eventually become the initial responsible party for operations and management of the Silicon Valley to Central Valley segment of the Phase 1 System during early operations.

The contract that will be awarded will proceed in two phases:

1.Phase 1 will be governed by a performance-based Pre-Development Agreement pursuant to which the operator, specifically including its identified Key Personnel, will work alongside the Authority and its advisors on the design, development and procurement of the commercial aspects of high-speed rail passenger train operations.
2.In Phase 2, the operator will be responsible for preparing for and operating the initial System pursuant to a Franchise Agreement to be negotiated and executed, consistent with the associated Financial Plan, at an appropriate time during Phase 1.

The Authority intends to establish a shortlist of the most highly qualified consortia. Those shortlisted in response to the RFQ will be invited to submit detailed proposals in response to a Request for Proposals (RFP).

The chosen consortium will reportedly be eligible also to bid for the main operating contract. Meanwhile, a long-term operator would be selected.

California High Speed Rail is a high speed rail system currently under construction in the U.S. state of California. The initial implementation phase (Phase 1) will connect the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center in Anaheim and Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles with the Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco via the Central Valley.

Construction on the initial section from Merced to Bakersfield began in 2015.

The California High Speed Rail Authority is responsible for planning, designing, building and operation of the first HSR system in the USA. By 2029 Phase 1 of the California HSR System will connect the mega-regions of the State, contribute to economic development and a cleaner environment, create jobs and preserve agricultural and protected lands. The System will run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin in under three hours at speeds capable of over 320 kph (200 mph) and will eventually extend in Phase 2 to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 1290 km (800 miles) with up to 24 stations. In addition, the Authority is working with regional partners to implement a statewide rail modernization plan that will invest billions of dollars in local and regional rail lines to meet the State’s 21st century transportation needs.

Construction of the XpressWest interstate HSR line will extend from Southern California to Las Vegas in Nevada, providing connectivity to California’s HSR system. XpressWest, the company franchised to build a High Speed Rail line linking Las Vegas and Los Angeles, plans to break ground in mid-2017.

High Speed Rail to Las Vegas to Break Ground in Mid-2017

In January 2015 the California High Speed Rail Authority issued an RFP for rolling stock. The proposals received are being reviewed so that acceptable bidders can be selected, and then requests for bids will be sent out.

In February 2015 nine companies formally expressed interest in producing trainsets for the system: Alstom, AnsaldoBreda (now Hitachi Rail Italy), Bombardier Transportation, CSR, Hyundai Rotem, Kawasaki Rail Car, Siemens, Sun Group U.S.A. partnered with CNR Tangshan, and Talgo. Marnell Transportation withdrew its Letter of Interest.

HSR services in the state are part of the California Transportation Plan (CTP), which provides a long-range policy framework to meet future mobility needs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The CTP defines goals, performance-based policies, and strategies to achieve the collective vision for California’s future statewide, integrated, multimodal transportation system.

Writer: John Carlo Ottaviani

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