October 24, 2013
U.S. to invest more than $138,000 million in high-speed rail in the coming years
- For the first time, the representatives of major U.S. high-speed rail projects will meet together in Europe to seek the expertise and knowledge of the leading European high-speed rail companies.
At the moment, the United States has two main high-speed rail projects underway:
- High-speed rail in California: to connect San Francisco with Los Angeles, and with Sacramento and San Diego in the final stages. The total cost is estimated at over $68,000 million and the first phase (Madera-Fresno) has already been tendered for $1,000 million. Currently underway is the award of the second (Fresno-Bakersfield for $2,000 million) and third stages (Bakersfield-Fremont), first through the RFQ (Request for Qualifications), which screens to companies that may submit a tender - and then through the RFP (Request for Proposals) to receive offers from companies in accordance with the project specifications. This project is led by the California High Speed Rail Authority, which also works with Caltrain (California commuter rail service, currently undergoing an electrification project until 2019) in the adjustments needed by the network to accommodate high-speed rail networks.
- North-East Corridor (NEC): this plan aims to upgrade the current NEC by linking cities like Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington and transforming it into a high-speed rail network. The project is valued at more than $70,000 million and includes, among other large works in several states, two tunnels throughout New York. The agency responsible for the coordination of this project is Amtrak, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation.
According to Germán Loperena, USAWeek Director and managing partner of S&F International, "the participation of these American authorities in this business meeting reasserts the United States' interest to know, firsthand, the leading European high-speed rail companies in the areas of infrastructure and engineering. In California, for example -explains Loperena- 30% of the work constructed must be awarded to local companies by law, so many times these companies need and seek partnerships with companies that have the knowledge and expertise that they do not have. In the case of the high-speed rail and given the possibility to participate in these very important projects, these companies will necessarily be European."