New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby Tadman » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:28 pm

So if this order goes single-level, is the mullet at the back of the Cali Chargers going to be removed?

https://goo.gl/images/QChLWB
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby David Benton » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:35 pm

gokeefe wrote:
David Benton wrote:Siemens will also breathe a sigh of relief their Chargers won't have to try and pull the bilevels to the specified speed , and the other loco manufacterers law suit is probably now moot.


Those engines will be used in service in California on existing bi-level trainsets that I would guess are just as heavy. I would be surprised if the performance specifications were specific to only the new bi-level cars.

I think the only lines that the speeds will be required in the near future are the Illinois and Michigan lines. All California lines are 90 mph?
For the sake of the locomotive lawsuit, I guess the other party could demand tests using the California cars , or Superliners. But haven't head much about that case lately anyway .
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby mtuandrew » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:57 pm

gokeefe wrote:Reading through Nippon Sharyo's rolling stock contract history I remain astounded at this level of failure. As far as I can tell this is a failure that is totally unprecedented in company history (at least in the post-war era).

It seems that way, doesn't it? Must have been a political or financial issue, because I don't believe that the capable engineers at N-S would have gotten stumped like this.

As I noted upthread though, N-S has apparently never built true bilevel cars (not counting gallery cars as they have a conventional frame.) That may have something to do with the problems.
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby bostontrainguy » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:40 am

Watching a YouTube video this morning of the Chargers in California, it looks to me that the paint scheme has a raising stripe at the rear of the engine that would align with a window band on a single level car, no?
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby BandA » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:53 pm

mtuandrew wrote:
gokeefe wrote:Reading through Nippon Sharyo's rolling stock contract history I remain astounded at this level of failure. As far as I can tell this is a failure that is totally unprecedented in company history (at least in the post-war era).

It seems that way, doesn't it? Must have been a political or financial issue, because I don't believe that the capable engineers at N-S would have gotten stumped like this.

As I noted upthread though, N-S has apparently never built true bilevel cars (not counting gallery cars as they have a conventional frame.) That may have something to do with the problems.
Wasn't the level of US content higher than the normal >50% required?
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby MisterUptempo » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:00 am

Wasn't the level of US content higher than the normal >50% required?


Ideally, the Caltrans/IDOT RFP was seeking 100% US-sourced components for the bi-levels, but it is a little more complex than that.

The bidding procedure, as far as I've been able to discern, went this way:

When the RFP was released, 7 railcar manufacturers formally expressed interest in bidding. They were as follows-

-Alstom
-Bombardier
-CAF
-Hyundai Rotem
-Kawasaki
-Siemens
-Sumitomo

Because California was the lead purchaser of the bi-levels, California procurement procedures had to be followed. As such, the bidders first had to submit a draft proposal to Caltrans/IDOT. Hyundai Rotem dropped out without submitting a draft proposal.

After draft proposals from the 6 remaining bidders were received, they were evaluated, and each bidder attended confidential meetings with Caltrans/IDOT to discuss compliance issues each bidder had that may affect their chances of winning the contract. After the meetings, all 6 bidders were invited to submit a final proposal for evaluation. Bombardier chose to drop out without submitting a final proposal.

Caltrans/IDOT received final proposals from the 5 survivors. Despite whatever compliance issues were discussed with Siemens and Alstom during the draft proposal evaluation meetings, Caltrans/IDOT determined that those issues had not been properly addressed. Siemens' and Alstom's bids were disqualified for non-compliance.

The 3 compliant bids were evaluated and scored between 0-100 points, with the highest scoring bid winning the contract.

The Technical Proposal portion of the bid was worth a maximum of 70 points. Points were assigned as follows-

Technical Elements 30 points
Experience/References 7 points
Project Management 8 points
Schedule/Rate of Production 10 points
Buy America - Domestic Content 10 points *
Standardization 5 points
Maximum Possible Score 70 points

*A Buy America Worksheet, which lists all major railcar components, was submitted as part of each bid. Each component on the worksheet was assigned a weighted point value. For every component that the bidder would source domestically, the point value for that component was added to their worksheet score. A maximum of 80 points could potentially be awarded from the worksheet, provided every component was US-sourced.

If a bidder had received 76-80 points on the worksheet, they'd receive the full 10 points for Buy America - Domestic Content in the Technical Proposal portion of the bid evaluation. 71-75 points on the worksheet won the bidder 7 points, 65-70 worksheet points won the bidder 3 points. A worksheet score of 64 or less resulted in 0 points.

The Buy America worksheet can be viewed in the RFP itself which can be found at the following URL-
https://www.illinois.gov/cpo/dot/Documents/RailcarRFP.pdf
In my .PDF reader, the form can be found on pages 47-49.

Any bidder with a score of at least 56 points (80% of total possible points) in its Technical Proposal would then have its Price Proposal evaluated and scored. Maximum possible score for the Price Proposal was 30 points.

This is what I meant by "more complex" earlier. 100% domestic content was not an absolute, but a greater ratio of American-built components resulted in a better overall score. A manufacturer could source everything offshore, get 0 domestic content points, then have to be nearly perfect in every other aspect of the Technical Proposal to move onto the Price Proposal.

The three compliant proposals were scored as follows-

Sumitomo - 90.369 out of a possible 100 points
CAF - 86.463 out of a possible 100 points
Kawasaki - 85.242 out of a possible 100 points

By points, Sumitomo won the bid.

ETA - Did Sumitomo's reported lowballing on the price win them enough points in the Price Proposal portion of the bid evaluation process, possibly compensating for a weaker Technical Proposal, to win the contract, or would Sumitomo have won anyway, but with a slimmer margin than they eventually had? Perhaps a FOIA request may be in order.
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby frequentflyer » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:57 am

Tadman wrote:So if this order goes single-level, is the mullet at the back of the Cali Chargers going to be removed?

https://goo.gl/images/QChLWB


I thought hte same too until I realized the units will still be operating with bilevels.
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby ExCon90 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:19 pm

As to David's question above, I'm sure there are no lines in California higher than 90 mph, and I believe the only places in California good for 90 are portions of the Surf Line between Fullerton and Sorrento Valley; everything else is 79. If that's not the case, will somebody please clarify.
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby Matt Johnson » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:07 pm

ExCon90 wrote:As to David's question above, I'm sure there are no lines in California higher than 90 mph, and I believe the only places in California good for 90 are portions of the Surf Line between Fullerton and Sorrento Valley; everything else is 79. If that's not the case, will somebody please clarify.


I believe the Southwest Chief does 90 on a couple of stretches between Barstow and Needles, but otherwise, that's correct.

The new high speed right of way being built for Cali HSR between Fresno and Bakersfield is intended to host the San Joaquin trains, presumably at 110 to 125 mph, long before any 220 mph electric trains appear. I believe the California cars, like the Surfliners, are good for 125 mph. The new Chargers are presumably good for 125, while the F59PHI diesels are geared for 110. The only equipment limited to below 110 would be the Superliner coaches, the ex-NJT Comet IB coaches, the F40 cabbages, and the P32BWH locos, all limited to 100 mph.
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby H Street Landlord » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:19 pm

^^^ will be great to get the new trackage used at higher speeds
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby frequentflyer » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:18 am

Whatever legal maneuvering was done so that Siemens could possibly complete the contract, could it not be done to have Alstrom or whoever completed the previous California Cars to restart production? How long would it take to restart or recreate the supply chain?
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby electricron » Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:02 am

frequentflyer wrote:Whatever legal maneuvering was done so that Siemens could possibly complete the contract, could it not be done to have Alstrom or whoever completed the previous California Cars to restart production? How long would it take to restart or recreate the supply chain?

I don't think so, they were eliminated during the evaluation of the RFP.

The three compliant proposals were scored as follows-
Sumitomo - 90.369 out of a possible 100 points
CAF - 86.463 out of a possible 100 points
Kawasaki - 85.242 out of a possible 100 points
By points, Sumitomo won the bid.

Additionally, Siemens was also eliminated.

This bait and switch being advanced by Sumitomo may be legal, but it certainly isn't ethical. If they can't provide a bilevel car per the original RFP, they should pick CAF or Kawasaki to fulfill the original RFP order. There's no question in my mind that a single level rail car could possibly score higher than the loosers in the original RFP. If Sumitomo can't build a bilevel rail car from the original RFP, then it is time to kill the original RFP and start another RFP for bilevels from scratch, or another RFP for single level railcars from scratch.

I find it appalling to even consider a single level railcar could ever win a bilevel railcar RFP. Yet, here we are discussing it on this thread that everything is going along normally. :(
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby east point » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:53 pm

Tell CAF if they want to bid they will have to deliver the remaining V-2 cars at a 100 car per year rate that Amtrak originally wanted ( 8 cars per month )
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:05 pm

electricron wrote:
frequentflyer wrote:Whatever legal maneuvering was done so that Siemens could possibly complete the contract, could it not be done to have Alstrom or whoever completed the previous California Cars to restart production? How long would it take to restart or recreate the supply chain?

I don't think so, they were eliminated during the evaluation of the RFP.

The three compliant proposals were scored as follows-
Sumitomo - 90.369 out of a possible 100 points
CAF - 86.463 out of a possible 100 points
Kawasaki - 85.242 out of a possible 100 points
By points, Sumitomo won the bid.

Additionally, Siemens was also eliminated.

This bait and switch being advanced by Sumitomo may be legal, but it certainly isn't ethical. If they can't provide a bilevel car per the original RFP, they should pick CAF or Kawasaki to fulfill the original RFP order. There's no question in my mind that a single level rail car could possibly score higher than the loosers in the original RFP. If Sumitomo can't build a bilevel rail car from the original RFP, then it is time to kill the original RFP and start another RFP for bilevels from scratch, or another RFP for single level railcars from scratch.

I find it appalling to even consider a single level railcar could ever win a bilevel railcar RFP. Yet, here we are discussing it on this thread that everything is going along normally. :(


I'd actually be more concerned about the legal gymnastics required to make flats fit the ADA compliance required by the bi's RFP. Seems like that's way more likely to blow this bid back to square one before anyone has the time to file a counter-claim about unfair business practices. Especially given what we know about the unfavorable weight profiles of any available low-floor flats source designs from these manufacturers. A formal ADA complaint filed about accessibility regressions in California or level-boarding promises broken/deferred in Chicago hub is all it'll take to get multiple state Attorneys General prying into this. Def nothing will be "going normally" once they get involved. And I don't see how that's avoidable right now. The only plausible technical designs readily available for FRA-compliant flats are all 48-inch floor w/traps or lifts, not 18-inch w/bridge plates...and that is a hard, full-stop accessibility regression any which way you spin it.
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Re: New Midwest/California Bi-Level Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:39 pm

electricron wrote:Additionally, Siemens was also eliminated.


Perhaps the real question should be ... was this actually appropriate. If it wasn't then maybe there's an answer.
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