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June 13, 2013

IDOT Expected to Seek Proposals in mid-July to Build High-Speed Locomotives
State Leads National Procurement of Approximately 35 Next-Generation Locomotives for Passenger Rail Service

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Pat Quinn announced today that significant progress in preparing the Request for Proposals (RFP) for release has been made for approximately 35 high-performance diesel-electric locomotives for Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Iowa in the Midwest, and for Washington and California on the West Coast. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is leading the multi-state locomotive procurement, as work continues on an aggressive schedule aimed at issuing the RFP in July.

“I have directed IDOT to complete the procurement as expeditiously as possible,” said Gov. Pat Quinn. “I am pleased to be moving closer to a target date and that the release date for the RFP for high-speed locomotives is anticipated to occur sometime in July.  We are thrilled to be leading this multi-state procurement and securing Illinois’ role as a national leader in high-speed rail.”

“This is an exciting time for the state of Illinois. This locomotive procurement has the support and confidence of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Governor Quinn, and we couldn’t be more proud to lead this crucial procurement effort,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider.  “Our goal is to offer 110-mile-per-hour service on as much of the Chicago-St. Louis corridor as we can by late 2015 using existing locomotives.  Another portion will be ready for 110 in 2017, and these locomotives will play a key role in making that happen.  That’s why we are moving quickly to get this procurement under way as soon as possible.” 

Gov. Quinn in March announced FRA’s recommendation that Illinois lead the multi-state procurement of next-generation locomotives for high-speed rail.  With the consent of the partnering states, IDOT is leading the effort to procure approximately 35 next-generation diesel locomotives for high-speed passenger trains for the six-state coalition. The FRA has allocated $808 million to manufacture the next generation of passenger rail equipment including approximately 35 new locomotives and 130 bi-level rail cars.  The locomotives are to meet standards developed by the Next Generation Equipment Committee, a team of government and rail industry experts.     

IDOT was involved last year in a multi-state procurement of the 130 next-generation bi-level rail cars for high-speed service, an effort led by California.  That procurement resulted in the selection of Sumitomo/Nippon-Sharyo, which is building the rail cars from its plant in Rochelle, Illinois, including the 88 cars to be used on Midwest high-speed corridors.  The Rochelle plant opened in 2012 and has created more than 250 jobs in Illinois. 

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 as much as possible in the years ahead.  The FRA in December provided a Record of Decision on the entire Chicago-St. Louis corridor, allowing Illinois to begin in-depth corridor segment studies and specific project studies to move toward high-speed service on the other 25 percent of the corridor as soon as possible, including segments from Joliet to Chicago and from Alton to St. Louis.  The segment from Dwight to Joliet is under development and is expected to offer 110-mph service in 2017. 

Illinois also is working in close partnership with the state of Michigan to establish 110-mph service from Chicago to Detroit as the next Midwest segment targeted to run at higher speeds. 

In order to encourage the broadest response and the highest quality responses to the RFP, the following accelerated schedule is effective: 

*Dates are subject to change

• Release of the RFP:     Mid-July 2013
• Proposals due date:      Early September, 2013
• Contract award and Notice to Proceed (NTP): Early 2014

This procurement will use the locomotive specification of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) Section 305 Next Generation Equipment Committee.  Parties intending to participate should be aware that FRA Buy America requirements will apply to this procurement supporting a domestic manufacturing and supply industry in the rail sector.

FRA’s High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) program and its Buy America plan implement America’s “Vision for High-Speed Rail in America”, which includes a goal to bolster American passenger rail expertise and resources.


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