September 22, 2014

Seimens looking for Florida HSR contracts

Siemens, an international engineering firm with its U.S. headquarters in Washington, D.C., and plants throughout the United States, is hungry to build high-speed train sets for a proposed Florida high-speed rail line.

Tampa Bay online (tbo.com) reports that Siemens, which has built high-speed trains in Austria, Belgium, China, France and Germany, has erected a billboard in Tampa showing one of its trains and proclaiming, “More Speed. Less Gas. With Siemens’ Answers for Florida High-Speed Rail.”

Florida is intent on completing a high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando by 2015 – and Miami by 2018 — and some $3 billion is in play for winning bidders, says Tampa Bay online. A lead contractor will be chosen within the next year.

Actually, 40 companies are showing an interest in the project, reports Tampa Bay online.

If the Florida project proceeds as its Department of Transportation expects, Florida’s 88-mile line between Tampa and Orlando will be America’s first, says Tampa Bay online.

“The Federal Railroad Administration has created a set of strict ‘Buy America’ standards for high-speed rail contracts being financed through the Obama administrations $8-billion nationwide high-speed rail program,” reports Tampa Bay online, and Siemens points to its California plant that has built rail equipment in the U.S. for a quarter century.

Florida already has received $1.25 billion in federal money for its project – nearly half the total projected cost for the Tampa-Orlando line.