Where Will California Get The Rail Cars It Needs?


By Noel T. Braymer

Back in 2012 with much fanfare, the States of California, Illinois, Michigan and Missouri announced a joint agreement to order 130 bi-level rail passenger cars capable of speeds up to 125 miles per hour. California would get 42 additional cars for ridership growth on the Capitol Corridor, San Joaquin and Pacific Surfliner services. The remaining 88 cars would be for expanded service in the Midwest with speeds up to 125 miles per hour. The $352 million dollar contract was awarded to Sumitomo, with assembly work done by Nippon Shayro at a plant in Illinois. The first cars were scheduled to be delivered by late 2015 with final delivery by 2018.

A recent story in the Wall Street Journal reports due to delays the first cars may not even be delivered  before 2018. Last Fall the prototype bi-level car failed the critical crash strength test. This has…

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