Workers sign a ceremonial rail during the system’s groundbreaking ceremony (CHSRA)

Global race to run California’s high-speed railway

2 May 2017 | By GCR Staff 1 Comment

Firms from China, Germany, Italy, Spain and Scotland are in the running to operate California’s high-speed railway.

They are taking part in five consortiums that entered the race to run the railway when it starts operating in around 2029, and all made it onto the shortlist, the rail authority has announced.

The five teams are:

  • The China HSR ETO Consortium: Consisting of China Railway International, Beijing Railway Administration, China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group and the China Railway Corp.
  • DB International USA: A German consortium consisting of German state operator Deutsche Bahn and its US subsidiary Deutsche Bahn International USA. Other team members are Alternate Concepts, HSR
  • FS First Rail Group: An Italian consortium consisting of Ferrovie dello Stato, FirstGroup America (the Cincinnati subsidiary of Aberdeen-based FirstGroup), First Transit, Trenitalia, Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, CentoStazioni, Italferr and McKinsey & Company.
  • Renfe: A Spanish consortium consisting of Spanish state operator Renfe, Operadora and Globalvia Inversiones
  • Stagecoach Group: The Scottish transport operator is the only competitor entirely from the private sector.

Now that all five have made it through the first-stage screening process, a request for proposals is expected to be issued in approximately one month. An initial $30m six-year consulting contract is expected to be signed in August.

Under that contract, the winning consortium will help determine the schedules, prices, train purchases and station design.

During the course of the contract, the consortium would negotiate the terms of a franchise agreement to invest in and operate the system for the rail authority beginning in 2025.

No public subsidy will be offered to the winner.

Image: Workers sign a ceremonial rail during the system’s groundbreaking ceremony (CHSRA)

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