High-speed locomotive purchase on track
leading multistate effort to purchase next-generation locomotives
for passenger rail service
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[December 21, 2013]
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois
Department of Transportation announced this week that Illinois has
taken the next step to purchase approximately 35 high-performance
diesel-electric locomotives for several Midwestern and West Coast
states, using funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation. IDOT
has issued a "Notice of Intent to Award" to Siemens USA to design,
build and deliver the locomotives on behalf of the departments of
Transportation from Illinois, California, Michigan, Washington and
Missouri. Illinois is leading the multistate locomotive procurement.
"We are taking another major step forward in this tremendous effort
that will create jobs and provide better, faster passenger service,"
Gov. Pat Quinn said. "We are proud to lead the multistate
procurement effort for these machines and look forward to the day
when they will be pulling high-speed passenger trains through
The new locomotives will achieve a maximum speed of 125
mph and meet new federal Tier 4 emissions standards, the cleanest to
date. The "Notice of Intent to Award" means a potential vendor has
been identified. A contract still needs to be awarded before the
purchase can proceed.
"This award creates jobs, spurs economic growth and further lays
the foundation for a sustainable, long-term passenger rail network
in the United States," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony
Foxx. "We’re proud to make investments in the next generation of
passenger locomotives that will be built in the United States by the
hands of American workers and will provide faster, safer and more
reliable intercity passenger service."
The Federal Railroad Administration allocated $808 million to
fund the manufacturing of the next generation of passenger rail
equipment, including approximately 35 new locomotives and 130
bilevel railcars. The locomotives will meet the standards developed
by Amtrak, states, FRA and rail industry experts under the Passenger
Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008. The locomotives and all
of their component parts will be built in the United States by
American workers, likely in Sacramento, Calif. The project will
retain and create jobs in several states across the country.
"This will not only create jobs but create pride in the fact that
these high-performance diesel-electric locomotives will be made
right here on American soil," said Illinois Transportation Secretary
Ann L. Schneider. "We are excited to have moved one step closer in
this process and thrilled to be leading this multistate procurement
and securing Illinois’ role as a national leader in high-speed
"We are extremely proud to have been selected as a rolling stock
partner to help bring the next era of passenger rail service to
Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, California and Washington state," said
Michael Cahill, president of Siemens Rail Systems in the U.S.
"Leveraging Siemens’ proven rail expertise and technology, we look
forward to building the most energy-efficient, advanced technology,
diesel-electric locomotives in North America at our solar-powered
transportation manufacturing facility in Sacramento, Calif."
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Last year, IDOT was involved in a multistate procurement of
130 next-generation bilevel railcars for high-performance
service, an effort led by the California Department of
Transportation, known as Caltrans. That effort resulted in the
selection of Sumitomo/Nippon-Sharyo, which is building the
railcars from its plant in Rochelle, including 88 cars to be
deployed on Midwest regional corridors. The Rochelle plant
opened in 2012 and has created more than 250 jobs in Illinois.
Amtrak debuted the first 110 mph service segment outside of the
Northeast Corridor on the Chicago-to-Detroit corridor in early 2012.
Today, the corridor features an 80-mile segment of track where
trains are running up to 110 mph, and by 2015, nearly 80 percent of
the corridor will see sustained speeds of 110 mph — all with new,
Illinois debuted 110 mph service on a 15-mile segment of the
Chicago-St. Louis corridor from Dwight to Pontiac in November 2012,
and IDOT is working with the private railroads and FRA to ensure
that positive train control requirements and all needed track and
crossing improvements are completed in order to expand 110 mph
service to about 75 percent of the corridor by 2017. In December,
the FRA provided a "Record of Decision" on the entire Chicago-St.
Louis corridor, allowing Illinois to begin in-depth corridor segment
analysis and specific project analysis to move toward
high-performance service on the other 25 percent of the corridor as
soon as possible, including the Chicago-Joliet and Alton-St. Louis
Illinois Department of
Transportation file received from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]