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Brightline West selects Siemens to manufacture high speed rail train sets

Posted: 13 May 2024 | | No comments yet

Brightline West have selected Siemens Mobility (Siemens) to manufacture high speed rail sets for the new Las Vegas to California route.

siemens brightline west

Brightline announced that Siemens Mobility (Siemens) has been designated the “preferred bidder” to build train sets for the Brightline West high-speed rail project that will connect Las Vegas and Southern California. The contract will include a fleet of ten “American Pioneer 220” (AP 220) train sets to be manufactured, delivered to Nevada and tested to support Brightline West’s timeline of initiating service in 2028.

The announcement came after a multi-year competitive procurement process conducted among multiple global competitors. The selection, which is subject to the conclusion of definitive agreements, is based on specific criteria that included price, manufacturing schedule, train performance (e.g. speed and travel time), ADA compliance, passenger amenities and total passenger capacity. In addition, the criteria considered future interoperability with the California High-Speed Rail project. The trains will be built in accordance with all applicable “Buy America” requirements.

This selection includes a 30-year rolling stock maintenance contract that will be performed at Brightline West’s Vehicle Maintenance Facility in Sloan, NV.  At this site, crews will perform routine daily maintenance, as well as long-term overhauls and repairs. This will generate high-paying jobs performing train maintenance activities on a permanent basis.

With the selection, Siemens will introduce the AP220 trainsets which represent a new generation of innovative high-speed technology, featuring the latest in passenger experience, cutting-edge digital technology, and a revolutionary propulsion system, built specifically for the U.S. market. These trains are an evolution of the proven Velaro platform, currently operating in Europe. The AP220 will introduce state-of-the-art technology through an American supply chain spurring the United States to establish a new industry rivaling countries that have had high-speed rail for decades. Siemens will establish a new facility to build the AP220 and will announce the location of America’s first true high-speed rail production center when the contract is finalised.

“Just as we redefined train travel with our trainsets for Brightline Florida, we are excited to pioneer this new frontier of manufacturing and development for Brightline West,” said Michael Reininger, Brightline’s CEO. “The momentum we are building, will culminate in new jobs and a new supply chain that will establish the foundation for a high-speed rail industry from coast to coast.”

“We are excited to work with Brightline to transform rail in America. The high-speed chapter of America’s rail story will build on Siemens’ 40 years of designing, building, testing, delivering and maintaining trains in the United States,” stated Marc Buncher, Siemens Mobility North America CEO. “On behalf of our 4,500 rail employees across the United States, we are excited to be selected to build and maintain America’s first true high-speed trains, which will feature some of the world’s most innovative high-speed rail technology. When they enter service, it will be one of the most pivotal moments in the history of American rail.”

The AP 220 will be the first true high-speed train sets to be built in America and are designed for operational speeds of up to 220 miles per hour. The propulsion system, lighter weight and aerodynamic shape makes it more efficient than other high-speed trains. The AP220 features an ultrawide carbody designed for unparalleled passenger comfort and designed to be the most accessible train on the market, exceeding ADA requirements and allowing for guests in wheelchairs to move with ease from car to car. The seven-car trains will carry between 434-450 passengers, depending on final configuration and can make the trip in less than two hours.

On 22 April 2024, Brightline West celebrated its groundbreaking. The 218-mile system will be constructed in the median of the I-15 and is based on Brightline’s vision to connect city pairs that are too short to fly and too far to drive. The system will have stops in Las Vegas, Nev., as well as Victor Valley, Hesperia and Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. The $12 billion project was recently awarded $3 billion in funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. The rest of the project will be privately funded.

Brightline partnered with Siemens Mobility to develop the Venture series train sets, which debuted in 2018 on the company’s Florida system.

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