Illinois Department of Transportation, Ann L. Schneider, Secretary
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  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 19, 2013

CONTACT:

Jae Miller 312.814.4693

High-Speed Locomotive Purchase for Several States by IDOT on Track

Illinois Leading Multi-State Effort to Purchase Next-Generation Locomotives for Passenger Rail Service

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) today announced 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 multi-state locomotive procurement.

“We are taking another major step forward in this tremendous effort that will create jobs and provide better, faster passenger service,” Governor Pat Quinn said. “We are proud to lead the multi-state procurement effort for these machines and look forward to the day when they will be pulling high-speed passenger trains through Illinois.”

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,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. “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 (FRA) allocated $808 million to fund the manufacturing of the next generation of passenger rail equipment including approximately 35 new locomotives and 130 bi-level rail cars. 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, California. 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,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider said. “We are excited to have moved one step closer in this process and thrilled to be leading this multi-state procurement and securing Illinois’ role as a national leader in high-speed rail.”

"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, California."

Last year, IDOT was involved in a multi-state procurement of 130 next-generation bi-level rail cars for high-performance service, an effort led by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). That effort resulted in the selection of Sumitomo/Nippon-Sharyo, which is building the rail cars from its plant in Rochelle, Illinois, 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 high performance equipment.

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% 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 segments.
 

 

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