Siemens, FCC to Bid on Billion Dollar US High-Speed Train Project

By Beecher Tuttle November 15, 2010

Siemens AG has reached an agreement with Spain's leading construction company to make a joint bid on a multi-billion-dollar high-speed train project in the U.S., sources close to the situation told the Spanish newspaper Expansion. The German-based engineering conglomerate will team up with Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas to bid on the portion of the train corridor that will run between Orlando and Tampa, Fla.

Other companies said to have made bids on the project include France’s Veolia, Sweden-based Skanska and a local construction outfit called Granite, Bloomberg reports.

The move by Siemens and the Spanish construction company comes just two weeks after the U.S. government awarded $2.4 billion in funding for railroad projects in 23 states.

Last month's round of financial support is in addition to the $8 billion that was allocated to the project back in January. The initiative, which was announced as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will help create the "first nationwide program of high-speed intercity passenger rail service."

The majority of the funds have been allocated to Florida and California, two areas with generally poor public transportation systems and major traffic issues. The high-speed train between Tampa and Orlando should be able to cut the 90-minute trip in half while clearing up roads for local transit. Florida's state government plans on one day extending the line down to Miami, however the timetable is still uncertain, CNET reports.

California, on the other hand, will spend its share of the funding on a new high-speed railroad that will connect its Central Valley. Down the road, the state hopes to develop a line that runs from San Francisco all the way down to Los Angeles, cutting six hours of travel time down to just two hours and forty-five minutes.

The federal government has said that both domestic and foreign companies that wish to bid on the projects will have to "establish or expand their base of operations in the United States if they are hired to build America's next generation high-speed rail lines," according to CNET.

Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributor

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