Midwest High Speed Rail Association Weekly Newsletter: Amtrak Railcars Delayed

April 14, 2016

Editor’s note: Midwest High Speed Rail Association continues to keep an eye on rolling stock procurements and other parts of the passenger rail industry to ensure the Midwest in the end has the best possible mobility by passenger rail.

By Dylan Hayward, Midwest High Speed Rail Association

New railcars, meant for Missouri, Illinois, Michigan and California have been delayed and could lose important federal funding if the project is not completed on time. In 2012 Caltrans and IDOT awarded a contract for up to 430 bi-level passenger railcars to be built by Nippon Sharyo in Rochelle, IL. The first railcars, similar to the California Surfliners pictured to the right, were supposed to begin replacing Amtrak’s Midwestern fleet by late 2015.Website Insert Call Me State DOTs copy

Initial designs did not meet the federal standards for absorbing compression force generated in a crash. Now engineers have to redesign the car’s body and undergo testing again which will delay production for about another two years.  The cars were funded with American Recovery and Reinvestment Funds that must be spent by September 2017, making it likely that the states will lose federal funding.

Click here to read the complete story.


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