High-Speed Rail considers two companies to manufacture trains 

California started the process to purchase trains for its much-maligned High-Speed Rail project.

Even though California’s High-Speed Rail still needs billions of dollars to complete the Central Valley segment, the project has started the process to purchase trains. 

The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s Board of Directors put out a request for proposals to kick off the selection process. 


Driving the news: Siemens Mobility and Alstom Transportation made the shortlist of possible train suppliers. 

  • Siemens Mobility is based out of Germany and has been building trains in California since the 1980s. 
  • Alstom Transportation is based in France and has a facility in Vallejo. 

The big picture: Whoever gets the contract between Siemens Mobility and Alstom Transportation will need to build six electric trainsets capable of reaching speeds of 220 mph. 

  • Two prototype trainsets will be needed for testing and trial running. 
  • There will be four trainsets deployed in the initial Merced to Bakersfield segment. 
  • The High-Speed Rail Authority needs the prototypes to be delivered by 2028. 

 Go deepers: The contract also stipulates a 30-year commitment to maintain the trains, and the train designs will involve feedback from stakeholders, including members of the public.

  • The eventual purchase of the trainsets was made possible by a $3 billion federal grant, with the stipulation that the trains be built in America, and officials aim to award the contract by the end of the year.
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