DB confirmed as early train operator for California high-speed rail

Photo: California High Speed Rail Authority.
Photo: California High Speed Rail Authority.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has confirmed that DB Engineering and Consulting has been awarded an early train operator services contract to assist with the United State’s first high-speed railway.

The announcement comes a month after CHSRA ranked the consortium – which consists of DB, Alternate Concepts, and HDR – above three rival bids in the race to secure the deal.

CHSRA board chair Dan Richard said: “Today’s board action is a major step forward for California’s High-Speed Rail Program.

“Bringing on an early train operator during the current design and development phase of the program will allow us to infuse commercial thinking into the design of the system, including station layout, technical specifications, and strategies to improve asset performance and control costs.

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“As far as we know, this approach of bringing a commercial operator into a design phase is unique for major infrastructure projects.”

He added: “Proposition 1A, the High-Speed Rail Bond Act, authorises us not only to construct a high-speed rail system, but requires that the system be a commercially viable enterprise that does not require an operating subsidy.

“Many large infrastructure programs are designed and built without sufficient attention to operating needs or operations and maintenance costs. This step of engaging an early operator allows us to design a system for optimum commercial performance.”

As early train operator, the consortium will assist CHSRA with planning, designing and implementing the nation’s first high-speed rail programme.

CHSRA said that it anticipates issuing a notice to proceed for this contract in the coming weeks.

Global legal practice Eversheds Sutherland advised DB Engineering & Consulting on its successful bid.

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