The Federal Railroad Administration has named Illinois to lead the multi-state procurement of next-generation locomotives for high-speed rail.
The Illinois Department of Transportation will lead the effort to procure at least 35 next-generation diesel locomotives for high-speed passenger trains on behalf of five states - Illinois, California, Michigan, Missouri and Washington.
The FRA has allocated $808 million to build the next generation of passenger rail equipment, including 35 new locomotives and 130 bi-level rail cars. As lead agency, IDOT will manage and oversee the procurement, involve the other states in planning and implementing the procurement process, develop a detailed project plan, and coordinate the review of the procurement among the involved states and FRA.
"Following significant analysis and consideration, FRA recommends that IDOT be the lead agency for the multi-state locomotive procurement," the FRA stated in their decision letter. "We are confident that your team - jointly with the significant contributions from California, Michigan, Missouri and Washington - will manage the procurement process and stakeholder involvement that will lead to a successful contract award."
Illinois Secretary of Transportation Ann L. Schneider said, "Our goal is to offer 110-mile-per-hour service on at least 75 percent of the Chicago-St. Louis corridor - the segment from Dwight to Alton - by the end of 2015, and these locomotives are the key to achieving that goal. It takes time to build these complex and powerful engines, however, and we are moving quickly to get this procurement under way as soon as possible."