Illinois Leads Project To Buy High Speed Locomotives For 5 States

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(KTVI) – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) named Illinois to lead the purchase of high speed rail locomotives for five states: Illinois, California, Michigan, Missouri and Washington.

The next-generation diesel locomotives are designed for high speed rail.

With approval from the partnering states, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will lead the effort to purchase at least 35 locomotives.

The FRA has allocated $808 million to build the next generation of passenger rail equipment, including 35 new locomotives and 130 bi-level rail cars.

IDOT will manage and oversee the procurement, involve the other states in planning and implementing the procurement process, develop a detailed project plan, and coordinate the review of the procurement among the involved states and FRA.

Last year, IDOT was part of a multi-state procurement of the 130 next-generation  bi-level rail cars for high-speed service, an effort led by the state of California.

That procurement resulted in the selection of Nippon-Sharyo, which is building the rail cars from its plant in Rochelle, Illinois, including the 88 cars to be used on Midwest high-speed corridors. The Rochelle plant opened in 2012 and has created 250 jobs in Illinois.

Illinois has been working on a Chicago to St. Louis high speed rail line.

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