The California High Speed Rail Authority has reversed their plan to buy foreign parts for the California bullet train after pressure from Democratic law makers.
In a letter to the Federal Railroad Administration CHSRA recently asked their September waiver request from the Buy America Act be dropped. The trains could cost some $3.4 billion. The agency now says it “ has agreed to allow the formal procurement process to determine what components are available or could be built in the American marketplace. Our hope is that this approach will encourage the United States manufacturing industry to rise to the challenge of producing what is needed to build high-speed trains in America.
Their statement continues “The Authority is committed to work with the manufacturing community, suppliers and Congress to ensure that all investments and products made in rail infrastructure, including high-speed trains, are made in America.”
California-based members of Congress John Garamendi and Doris Matsui, praised the authority’s reversal and thanked authority Chair Dan Richard. “Following my conversation with the authority, they made the right decision to withdraw the Buy America waiver request and renew their commitment to maximum American-made content in all their projects, including the high-speed trainsets,” Garamendi said.
New RFP Soon
The Authority released these details of their plan.
· The Authority is initially looking to order 2 prototype and 14 high-speed trainsets (approximately 8 cars per trainset), which will have a minimum of 450 seats.
· Trainsets built for the Authority will need to meet speeds of a minimum of 200 mph to meet its planned trip-time requirements for service from the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles on what will be largely brand new infrastructure.
· The Authority anticipates issuing a Request for Proposal for a high-speed train manufacturer in winter 2016/2017 or Spring 2017. The high-speed train procurement will be a competitive and open process and what any bidder chooses to include will be up to them and will be evaluated as part of the open and transparent process.
HSR Now Owns Half The Parcels For Train ROW In Kings County
The California High Speed Rail Authority continues to chug along acquiring the parcels needed to build the track through King County along with neighboring counties. In a process that got underway last year some 237 parcels in Kings County are being acquired and 127 parcels are possessed by Authority says spokesperson Annie Parker of CHSRA. A number of them have had to go to court to finalize the sale and set a price. For the entire 110 mile first phase – Madera to Wasco – “we have surpassed 900 parcels delivered to the design-build contractor. We need to acquire 1606 parcels total for the first three construction packages, so we are making significant progress.”