International consortia bid to become California high-speed rail early operator

Photo: California High Speed Rail Authority.
Listen to this article

California’s high-speed rail authority has received submissions from five international consortia for its early train operator contract (ETO).

The consortia include companies from China, Germany, the UK, Italy and Spain.

As of the April 4 deadline, the authority had received responses from:

  • China HSR ETO Consortium – China Railway International Co, Ltd Beijing Railway Administration, China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co, Ltd China Railway Corporation (China Railway);
  • DB International US – DB International USA Inc, Deutsche Bahn AG, Alternate Concepts Inc, HDR Inc.
  • FS First Rail Group – Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane S.p.A, FirstGroup plc, Trenitalia Rete Ferroviaria Italiana S.p.A, CentoStazioni S.p.A, Italferr S.p.A, McKinsey & Company Inc.
  • Renfe – RENFE – Operadora, Globalvia Inversiones S.A.U, Adif
  • Stagecoach Group plc – Stagecoach Group plc, Coach USA Administration Inc.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority issued a Request for Qualifications for the contract in December last year. At the time, the authority said it hoped to name the ETO in summer 2017.

The ETO will offer advice during the design and construction of the new system, as well as initially running the service while a long-term operator is chosen. However, the ETO will also be eligible to bid for the main operating contract.

Construction is currently underway on the Central Valley to Silicon Valley section of the route. This is expected to be completed by 2024.