• Brightline West Trainsets: Alstom v. Siemens

  • This is a forum for all operations, both current and planned, of Brightline, formerly All Aboard Florida and Virgin Trains USA:
    Websites: Current Brightline
    Virgin USA
    Virgin UK
This is a forum for all operations, both current and planned, of Brightline, formerly All Aboard Florida and Virgin Trains USA:
Websites: Current Brightline
Virgin USA
Virgin UK

Moderator: CRail

  by Jeff Smith
The Journal (subscription required) has an interesting article on who will win the contract to build the Las Vegas - Los Angeles train sets: WSJ.com

European Rail Giants Fight for Slice of U.S. High-Speed Train Line

Siemens and Alstom vie to supply planned Los Angeles to Las Vegas link
Siemens and Alstom are lobbying lawmakers and the Biden administration as they vie to supply high-speed power cars and passenger coaches for the trains of Brightline West, a privately owned venture that aims to connect the Los Angeles exurbs with Las Vegas. The companies are relying on powerful allies to boost their chances, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), a public champion of Alstom, which has a factory in his home state’s Southern Tier.
Siemens and Alstom are already fierce competitors in high-speed rail, an industry that has grown steadily for decades in Western Europe, Japan and China, as countries linked cities with trains topping 200 miles an hour. The fastest passenger train in the U.S., Amtrak’s Acela express service, reaches a top speed of 150 miles an hour in just a few sections of the Northeast Corridor linking Washington and Boston.
Schumer’s aides have pressed Alstom’s case to the Biden administration and Brightline, saying the company’s work developing the Acela fleet gives it a more robust U.S. supply chain that won’t require significant exemptions to comply with the administration’s Buy America rules for infrastructure projects, according to people familiar with the discussions.
  by BandA
Firewalled, unfortunately. Why does Chuck Schumer and others get to make decisions for Brightline, which is a private company? The beauty of Brightline is that it is a private company, making hopefully smart business decisions unlike a government Authority making political decisions.
  by markhb
My hunch is that there is some sort of pass-through federal funding involved in the project (such as loan guarantees by one state or the other) that would trigger those requirements. See https://www.ktnv.com/news/we-are-shovel ... -a-reality, but at the same time the OMB memo regarding the policy doesn't strictly apply to grants directly to for-profit companies.
  by edflyerssn007
Does Siemens have any 150mph+ options that are ready to roll? At least Alstom technically had the Acela2/Avelia Liberty design that's currently being manufactured for Amtrak in the NEC. I also wonder if a rebuild of the leased Acela1 sets is being talked about.
  by eolesen
Nobody is rebuilding the Acela 1's except for Gillette or Budweiser..... into razor blades and beer cans.

Schumer must have gotten a big donation he needed to do a quid pro quo for...

Brightline will want to go with the vendor they choose. Congress *should* have zero influence on that.

And that vendor has been Siemens to date, who is actually located in one of the states being served by Brightline West.

In one of their filings earlier this year, they announced that the Siemens Velaro Novo was their intended choice for Las Vegas. Based on what the rest of the Velaro series has done, it's more than capable of the speeds needed.

(see page three in the FRA's decision letter on a waiver request: https://www.regulations.gov/document/FRA-2020-0096-0010 )
Last edited by eolesen on Mon Sep 18, 2023 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by Jeff Smith
And they’ll have far less trouble than Amtrak with Avelia since the ROW will be brand new and they’ll buy “off the shelf”.
  by JohnFromJersey
Siemens makes the most sense, given that Brightline has a ton of experience with them with their venture in Florida