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Acela II RFP information announcement


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#21 Guest_Andrew_*

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 04:23 PM

When will we find out who gets the new contract? 



#22 Ryan

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 04:29 PM

After the RFP is released.
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#23 afigg

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:06 PM

After the RFP is released.

No, the RFP is the Request For Proposals for the vendors to submit bids and proposals. Those bids will be evaluated with presentations from the vendors, tentatively scheduled for the end of April, 2014 as stated in the procurement notice. With the FRA on furlough due to the shutdown, and since the FRA is a player in this process, would not be surprised if the release of the RFP was delayed pass the mid-November date.

 

If there is a contractor selected and an award announced, the earliest would likely be the summer of 2014.



#24 Ryan

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:17 PM

I was getting at the fact that the contract can't be awarded until after an RFP goes out, that's the first step in the process that ends with a contract award.
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#25 Fan Railer

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 01:27 PM

 

After the RFP is released.

No, the RFP is the Request For Proposals for the vendors to submit bids and proposals. Those bids will be evaluated with presentations from the vendors, tentatively scheduled for the end of April, 2014 as stated in the procurement notice. With the FRA on furlough due to the shutdown, and since the FRA is a player in this process, would not be surprised if the release of the RFP was delayed pass the mid-November date.

 

If there is a contractor selected and an award announced, the earliest would likely be the summer of 2014.

 

Considering the shutdown ended the day you after posted this comment, I don't expect the delay in any award to be anything substantial.


Edited by Fan Railer, 17 October 2013 - 01:28 PM.


#26 Acela150

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 07:25 PM

Would I be shocked if Siemens gets the deal if the new electrics perform well, no. But Amtrak has to keep the door open. Look over everything from everyone and go with the best deal. 


Edited by Acela150, 17 October 2013 - 07:25 PM.

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#27 Fan Railer

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 09:26 PM

Would I be shocked if Siemens gets the deal if the new electrics perform well, no. But Amtrak has to keep the door open. Look over everything from everyone and go with the best deal. 

You still have to say that we can pretty much predict who the front runners are going to be.



#28 Guest_Nathanael_*

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 11:00 PM

Would I be shocked if Siemens gets the deal if the new electrics perform well, no. But Amtrak has to keep the door open. Look over everything from everyone and go with the best deal.

You still have to say that we can pretty much predict who the front runners are going to be.


There's really not that many players in the high-speed trainset market. I've examined them from the investment point of view. There's Bombardier, Siemens, Alstom, CAF, and I think two companies in Japan. (I didn't pay much attention to the Japanese companies in that round of research because they're hard to make 'pure play' investments in, being tied up in keiretsu and as such not listed on the stock markets). And there are the Chinese companies, but nobody in the US will use the Chinese companies. There are also a few long-shots like Talgo but they seem unlikely.

Predicting the front-runners isn't hard when the total number of likely competitors is less than 6. CAF and Alstom probably won't bid (they aren't set up to deal easily with Buy America rules for high-speed train production), so that brings it down to Siemens, Bombardier, and the two Japanese companies which I can't remember the names of.

#29 Anderson

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 02:58 AM

 

Would I be shocked if Siemens gets the deal if the new electrics perform well, no. But Amtrak has to keep the door open. Look over everything from everyone and go with the best deal. 

You still have to say that we can pretty much predict who the front runners are going to be.

 

Yes, but a no-bid contract would be open to all sorts of misbehavior on pricing and whatnot, to say nothing of allegations thereof that may or may not be well-founded.


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#30 Crescent ATN & TCL

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 08:08 AM

What are the companies in the US that are capable of producing 220mph trainsets?

 

I know there is Siemens, Alstom and Talgo. We all know Talgo is out because of platform height. So that leaves Siemens and Alstom. We know Siemens Velaro would be the same platform height as the rest of the NEC trains. When they brought the ICE-1 over in the 90s it operated just fine on the corridor and the Velaro operates with the ICE-1 in Germany now. I'm not sure of the height of the AGV, so I don't know if it is a contender. 

 

Now if they want tilt that will mean an ICE-T set, but I don't think those can run at 220mph, Most tilting trains have top speeds in the 125mph-185mph range, except Talgo 350, which is out because of platform height.

 

We know Siemens has room to build a HighSpeed plant at their current location, but does Alstom have the space to build AGV's in Hornell or would they have to build a new plant for that?

 

As for the Japanese companies, I do not want a version of the Shikansen due to the tiny airplane windows in all of their trains. Which if I'm thinking correctly there is a minimum window size in the FRA requirements for evacuation through windows. Those tiny airplane windows are definitely going to be too small to meet that requirement.


Edited by Crescent ATN & TCL, 19 October 2013 - 08:23 AM.


#31 afigg

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 11:21 AM

What are the companies in the US that are capable of producing 220mph trainsets?

Well, CAF is building Viewliners at their Elmira facility. Depending on how the vendor can comply with the Buy America requirement, the US plant for HSR trainsets may be more of a final assembly plant with the routine parts brought from US suppliers to up the US quotient.

Since CHSRA is a public agency, their website may be a better source of information on the RFP and who the qualified bidders are than what Amtrak will disclose.

BTW, I looked for info on HSR trainsets & builders and found this summary List of High-Speed Trains on wikipedia. Even a brief look at the Siemens Velaro shows why that would be a contender for the NEC application.
 



#32 Guest_Andrew_*

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 09:01 AM

The current Acela Express trains have 6 passenger cars. How many cars will the new Trainsets have?



#33 afigg

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 12:32 PM

The current Acela Express trains have 6 passenger cars. How many cars will the new Trainsets have?

Presumably TBD (To Be Determined). That will depend on which vendor and design wins the contract. Amtrak is looking to have so many seats, probably 450, give or take, with X first class seats, Y business/coach class seats, and space for cafe service. But the CA HSR will have its own specifications for capacity and configuration. The proposed trainsets will have to meet the seating and many other requirements in the RFP. One vendor may be able to meet that with a 8 car design, another with 9 or 10 cars. We shall see.



#34 Guest_Nathanael_*

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 12:50 PM

BTW, I looked for info on HSR trainsets & builders and found this summary List of High-Speed Trains on wikipedia. Even a brief look at the Siemens Velaro shows why that would be a contender for the NEC application.

Of the companies on that list, the big one which I forgot was Fiat Ferrovia.

There are also four Japanese companies, not two. They seem to like to make joint bids, however.

BREL is now part of Bombardier, as are a lot of the other companies listed, so I didn't actually miss anything else.

#35 Guest_Nathanael_*

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 12:53 PM

The current Acela Express trains have 6 passenger cars. How many cars will the new Trainsets have?

Presumably TBD (To Be Determined). That will depend on which vendor and design wins the contract. Amtrak is looking to have so many seats, probably 450, give or take, with X first class seats, Y business/coach class seats, and space for cafe service. But the CA HSR will have its own specifications for capacity and configuration. The proposed trainsets will have to meet the seating and many other requirements in the RFP. One vendor may be able to meet that with a 8 car design, another with 9 or 10 cars. We shall see.

There's a lot to be said for going straight to the longest train which can platform at all the Acela stops, given trends in demand. Given standard-length cars, I think that would mean 12 cars, though someone else may know platform lengths better than I.

#36 Fan Railer

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 03:13 PM

 

 

The current Acela Express trains have 6 passenger cars. How many cars will the new Trainsets have?

Presumably TBD (To Be Determined). That will depend on which vendor and design wins the contract. Amtrak is looking to have so many seats, probably 450, give or take, with X first class seats, Y business/coach class seats, and space for cafe service. But the CA HSR will have its own specifications for capacity and configuration. The proposed trainsets will have to meet the seating and many other requirements in the RFP. One vendor may be able to meet that with a 8 car design, another with 9 or 10 cars. We shall see.

 

There's a lot to be said for going straight to the longest train which can platform at all the Acela stops, given trends in demand. Given standard-length cars, I think that would mean 12 cars, though someone else may know platform lengths better than I.

 

I would feel that an easily expandable train set would win out in this situation here. Growth is key, and while we know that CAHSR is gunning for an 8 car (200 meter) EMU (so they can run double consists to fill the length of their ~400 meter platforms), we may see Amtrak start with an 8 car EMU with a different seating arrangement, and plan a provision for inserting growth cars at a later date should capacity requirements demand it. As for Amtrak platform lengths, you're probably not going to see an Acela II train set longer than say 10 or 12 cars (after growth). The platforms at Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington accommodate 13-14 cars max at the moment, IIRC, and most intermediate stops that the Acela services are average 10-12 standard car lengths, with NYP and Newark Penn being the outliers, platforming 17 cars and a potential of 18 cars respectively (should the platforms at Newark be renovated and reopened to their full length).

 

Considering that Amtrak is planning to build a new HSR corridor through CT, we may actually (if growth demands) see a mixture of 8 car EMUs for service on the traditional NEC (through New London and Kingston), and extended (10 or 12 car) EMUs for service through the new corridor. Afterall, Amtrak is planning to have a total of 46 of these Acela II trains by the time the entire system is running, so we'll just have to wait and see what the breakdown is at the end of all of this.


Edited by Fan Railer, 20 October 2013 - 05:45 PM.


#37 battalion51

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 04:56 PM

It all depends on how you define a car length. I believe the Talgo sets have car lengths that are about 40' long (it's somewhere in that ballpark), whereas the majority of Amtrak's fleet is 85' long. Amtrak and CAHSR are going to be looking for things like seat counts, restroom to passenger ratios, loading/unloading times, ability to add/remove cars, overall length, road power requirements, etc. How the bidder decides to put their product forward to meet those specs is up to them.


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#38 afigg

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 05:17 PM

I would feel that an easily expandable train set would win out in this situation here. Growth is key, and while we know that CAHSR is gunning for an 8 car (200 meter) EMU (so they can run double consists to fill the length of their ~400 meter platforms), we may see Amtrak start with an 8 car EMU with a different seating arrangement, and plan a provision for inserting growth cars at a later date should capacity requirements demand it. As for Amtrak platform lengths, you're probably not going to see an Acela II train set longer than say 10 or 12 cars (after growth). The platforms at Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington accommodate 13-14 cars max at the moment, IIRC, and most intermediate stops that the Acela services are average 10-12 standard car lengths, with NYP and Newark Penn being the outliers, platforming 17 cars and a potential of 18 cars respectively (should the platforms at Newark be renovated and reopened to their full length).

Looking it up, the high level platforms at WAS are 9 cars long. The New Carrollton platform is 10 cars long. The 2 platforms at BAL used by Amtrak are 10 and 12 cars long. The longest platform at New Haven is 9 cars long. (Source: RE Green's maps) IIRC, there was a post on here in recent months listing platform lengths for all/most of the Amtrak NEC stations in response to a similar thread drift on why not run really long trains.

Until the NEC stations have been "modernized" and standardized to a greater extent, there is little benefit to Amtrak to deploy Acelas longer than 9 cars (cars in this case = 85' long which may not be the case for a new HSR trainset). At the current rate of upgrading the NEC, only the young ones on this forum will be around to see an NEC where almost all the Amtrak stations have platforms at least 12 cars long or ~1000'+ to be more specific.

Your mention of the CA HSR plans for 400 meter platforms (at least for the main trunk stations) brings up the question of compatibility of the requirements for the legacy constrained NEC versus the all new CA HSR. Amtrak and the CHSRA* are attempting to have a combined purchase to lower costs, but there is no guarantee that they will be able to do so. There are many ways the plans for a combined order can fall apart. Inadequate funding for Amtrak by Congress in FY14 and FY15 could delay placing an order or just stall the entire process for one.

* CHSRA = California High Speed Rail Authority to keep the authority separate from discussions of the CA HSR system.

Edited by afigg, 20 October 2013 - 05:19 PM.


#39 afigg

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 12:03 PM

Amtrak has posted RFP Information to potential offerers for High Speed Trainsets to their Procurement Portal site Non-construction list. Look for RFP Information to Potential Offerors for the procurement of High Speed Rail Trainsets.  The listing is from Nov 21 to Dec 2, after which I expect the listing will be taken down and the link will no longer work. The juicy part of the RFP information is a link to a 169 page Schedule 1A performance specification which can be downloaded and opened with a little work. I have just started to skim the performance spec document.
 
The gist of the text on the procurement portal page:

It is contemplated that Amtrak will release the Request For Proposal (RFP) for up to twenty-eight (28) new high speed Trainsets in concert with the California High-Speed Rail Authority within one months time. For now, please refer to attached Draft Specification to be used as a reference point for the Corridor Tour and Pre-Proposal Meeting.
 
Prospective Offerors should plan to attend the  Pre-Proposal Meeting, Northeast Corridor tour, and Buy America Act informational session conducted by the Federal Railroad Administration starting on December 3, 2013 through December 6, 2013. Please note the date change from previous email for the tour and refer to information attached.

 
For those wondering about seating capacity, from the performance spec:

For Amtrak, the baseline interior layout shall provide a nominal 425 passenger seats.
For the Authority, the baseline interior layout shall provide a minimum 450 passenger seats.

There is a lot of interesting stuff in the performance spec. To be capable of 2 hours and 21 minutes WAS-NYP (obviously only after a lot of upgrades to the NEC). A USB port at each passenger seat?

#40 afigg

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 06:03 PM

Some excerpts from the NEXT GENERATION AMTRAK/AUTHORITY TRAINSETS – PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATION (Revision 7b):
 
1. operating specs

Amtrak journey time requirements shall be met operating with a full-seated passenger load and are as follows:

· Washington, DC - New York Penn Station: Not to exceed 2 hours, 21 minutes with one-minute station stops at Baltimore, MD; Wilmington, DE; Philadelphia 30th Street Station, PA and Newark, NJ.

· New Haven, CT – Boston South Station, MA: Not to exceed 1 hour, 51 minutes) with one-minute station stops at Boston Back Bay Station, MA; Route 128, MA; Providence, RI and New London, CT.

Journey times will be determined by Amtrak through use of its in-house Train Performance Calculator (TPC). Where a total journey time is necessary for duty cycle- and RAMS-related determinations, a Washington, DC to Boston South Station, MA total journey time of 6 hours 8 minutes shall be used.

Amtrak’s simulations will be based on operations of up to a maximum cant deficiency of 5 inches (127 mm) for a non-tilt trainset and up to 9 inches (229 mm) for a tilting trainset. High cant deficiency operation shall provide compensation for quasi static lateral accelerations exceeding 0.06g and the amount of compensation shall be determined jointly during the performance simulations stated above.

 

2. Train length and configuration

For Amtrak, the distance between the first and last axles of the Trainset shall be a maximum of 205 m (672.6 feet).

For the Authority, the maximum Trainset length shall be such that all of the side entry doors of the Trainset in double traction can berth at a platform having a length of 407 m (1,335 feet).

The Trainset design shall feature single-deck passenger accommodations.

 

3. Noise

The Trainset will operate at high speeds, in tunnels and occasionally in close proximity to dwellings. Therefore, the control of interior and exterior noise at speeds up to 354 km/h (220 mph) for the Authority and 257.5 km/h (160 mph) for Amtrak shall be critical.

 

4. General requirements

The Trainset shall have a service life of not less than 30 years. The Trainset shall accommodate an estimated annual mileage of 650,000 km (404,000 miles) per Trainset while operating on the respective Owner’s network.

 

5. Americans are getting fatter. Deal with it.

Per EN 15663, the typical weight of a passenger, with luggage is identified as 80 kg (176 lbs.). The typical weight of a crew member, with luggage and Equipment, is identified as 80 kg (176 lbs.). A review of U.S. Center for Disease Control weight statistics for adult females and males has been conducted. Based on these statistics, by 2043, the average weight for a U.S. male is predicted to be 97.5 kg (215 lbs.), and the average weight for a female is predicted to be 84.2 kg (186 lbs.).

 

6. Seating

Business Class seating shall be provided in 2+2 configuration, in both table and unidirectional seating layouts, and shall include accommodations for ADA seating.

Seating shall be provided with spacing equivalent to 991 mm (39 inches) of Pitch.

7. Pantograph

Two pantographs shall be supplied per Trainset; however, current collection during Normal operation shall be performed by only 1 pantograph. The design of the pantographs shall account for the reduction of aerodynamic noise emissions and shall provide excellent current collecting performance at all speeds on all routes.

The pantograph shall be of a proven design capable of current collection at all speeds up to 390 km/h (242 mph).
The pantograph shall have an operating range for wire heights from 4.5 m (14.83 feet) to 7.5 m (24.5 feet).

 

8. Behave. They will be watching. And recording it for court.

Internally mounted color video cameras shall be provided in each Vehicle to allow full monitoring of all passengers inside the Vehicle. This System shall be specifically designed to record anti-social behavior of passengers, as well as allow real time visual communication with all Vehicles in the consist by the Operator.

 






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