Brightline West selects Siemens Mobility to manufacture trainsets for high-speed rail project

May 2, 2024
Through this new contract, Siemens will provide Brightline 10 AP 220 high-speed rail sets by 2028.

Brightline West has chosen Siemens Mobility as its “preferred bidder” to build train sets for the high-speed rail project that will connect Las Vegas, Nev., and southern California. The contract will include a fleet of 10 American Pioneer 220 (AP 220) train sets to be manufactured, delivered to Nevada and tested to support Brightline West’s timeline of initiating service in 2028. 

Siemens explains the AP220 trainsets represent a new generation of innovative high-speed technology.

When making its selection, Brightline West focused on specific criteria that included price, manufacturing schedule, train performance (e.g. speed and travel time), ADA compliance, passenger amenities and total passenger capacity. The criteria also considered future interoperability with the California High-Speed Rail project. The trains will be built in accordance with all applicable “Buy America” requirements.

“We are excited to work with Brightline to transform rail in America. The high-speed chapter of America’s rail story will build on Siemens’ 40 years of designing, building, testing, delivering and maintaining trains in the United States,” said Marc Buncher, Siemens Mobility North America CEO. “On behalf of our 4,500 rail employees across the United States, we are excited to be selected to build and maintain America’s first true high-speed trains, which will feature some of the world’s most innovative high-speed rail technology. When they enter service, it will be one of the most pivotal moments in the history of American rail.” 

This partnership will include a 30-year rolling stock maintenance contract that will be performed at Brightline West’s Vehicle Maintenance Facility in Sloan, Nev. Crews will be tasked to perform routine daily maintenance, as well as long-term overhauls and repairs. 

To better manage this contract and the expected demand that will follow, Siemens will establish a new facility to build the AP 220 and will announce the location of the high-speed rail production center when the contract is finalized. 

“Just as we redefined train travel with our trainsets for Brightline Florida, we are excited to pioneer this new frontier of manufacturing and development for Brightline West,” said Michael Reininger, Brightline’s CEO. “The momentum we are building will culminate in new jobs and a new supply chain that will establish the foundation for a high-speed rail industry from coast to coast.” 

Siemens and Brightline West note the AP 220 is more efficient thanks to its propulsion system, lighter weight and aerodynamic shape. This trainset model features an ultrawide carbody, designed for passenger comfort and accessibility, following ADA requirements and allowing for guests in wheelchairs to move with ease from car to car. The seven-car trains will be able to carry between 434-450 passengers, depending on final configuration and can make the trip in less than two hours. 

The 218-mile high-speed rail system will be constructed in the median of the I-15 and is based on Brightline’s vision to connect city pairs that are too short to fly and too far to drive. The system will have stops in Las Vegas, Nev., as well as Victor Valley, Hesperia and Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. The $12 billion project was recently awarded $3 billion in federal funding. The rest of the project will be privately funded. 

Brightline had also previously partnered with Siemens Mobility to develop its Venture series train sets, which debuted in 2018 on the company’s Florida system. 

About the Author

Eman Abu-Khaled | Associate Editor

Eman Abu-Khaled is a recent graduate of Kent State University with a bachelors in journalism. She works through Endeavor Business Media with Mass Transit as an associate editor. Abu-Khaled brings a fresh perspective to the visual side of journalism with an interest in video and photography work.