USDOT Opens Bidding for Made-in-America Passenger Rail Cars
The $551 million Request for Proposals to manufacture approximately 130 new bi-level passenger rail cars in America comes from a groundbreaking multi-state effort to jointly purchase standardized rail equipment to be used on Amtrak’s intercity routes in California, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri and potentially Iowa. The funding is being provided by the Federal Railroad Administration’s High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has partnered with the Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) to connect large car builders and more than 34,000 domestic suppliers, and help them retool their production capabilities to meet demand. The MEP connects suppliers with viable business opportunities that may have otherwise gone to foreign suppliers.
The Buy America provision of the RFP requires that all components of the new bi-level cars are built by American workers: with American hands, and with American-produced steel, iron and manufactured goods.
The new uniform standards will drive down lifecycle costs and allow more manufacturers and suppliers to compete, fostering a healthy competition while helping re-establish the U.S. domestic supply chain for passenger rail equipment and meet Buy America goals. The common design also makes it easier to train personnel, stock parts and perform maintenance and repairs, which also reduces costs and increases equipment reliability.
Let the Cooling Begin at Solar-Powered Light Rail Station
At the 3rd St./Washington light rail station in downtown Phoenix, passengers can enjoy the chill of a solar-powered cooling system as they wait for the next train. The system was launched last summer and is being activated earlier than scheduled due to the heat spike.
The district cooling system also air-conditions such prominent downtown facilities as Chase Field, Symphony Hall and the Phoenix Convention Center. The 3rd St./Washington station is a highly trafficked platform thanks to the business of downtown Phoenix, especially during Arizona Diamondbacks’ games.
Funding for the LYNX Blue Line Extension
City of Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, UNC Charlotte Chancellor Dr. Philip L. Dubois, NC Governor’s Piedmont Regional Office Director Budd Berro, North Carolina Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary for Transit Paul Morris, CATS CEO Carolyn Flowers, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce President Bob Morgan and Mecklenburg County Commission and Metropolitan Transit Commission Chairmen Harold Cogdell took part in the celebration on the campus of UNC Charlotte at its Bioinformatics Building.
The State Full Funding Grant Agreement will provide 25 percent of the funding for the LYNX Blue Line Extension from Center City Charlotte to the UNC Charlotte campus. The support also prepares the system to receive a full funding grant agreement of 50 percent of the project costs from the Federal Transit Administration later this year.
The 9.4-mile alignment would run from Uptown Charlotte to the UNC Charlotte campus and include 11 light rail stations and four parking facilities. Construction of the $1.16 billion BLE Project is scheduled to begin fall 2013 with operational service expected in 2017.
Mapping the System
“Los Angeles Metro consistently produces some of the best marketing materials in the industry. We are proud to have been selected by L.A. Metro to assist in their continued efforts of producing top-quality, compelling customer information.” - CHK America President and CEO Rick Wood.
CHK America has been awarded the contract for Cartography Services by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). Under this contract CHK American will once again work with Metro to design and maintain a variety of customer information products. These products include the LA CMTA system map, high-frequency map, rail and bus connections maps and the new Expo Line connections maps and frequency tables, along with other specialty maps requested by Metro.