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VIA Rail

Our contracting framework doesn't allow automatic sole source without direct political intervention. And good luck with that.
But they did it with Siemens? It was because they were the only vendor that could meet the timeline and already had production started.
 
It was because they were the winning participant in a competitive tendering process with an RFQ and an RFP…
With an RFP which made it difficult for others to win, demanding as it did the provision of power and coaches, and that said power could be converted to electric.
 
With an RFP which made it difficult for others to win, demanding as it did the provision of power and coaches, and that said power could be converted to electric.
As I understand it, the RFP looked for trainsets, but did not specify their precise composition. Self-propelled equipment was allowed, and I am under the understanding that at least one bidder did propose such equipment.

Dan
 
As I understand it, the RFP looked for trainsets, but did not specify their precise composition. Self-propelled equipment was allowed, and I am under the understanding that at least one bidder did propose such equipment.

Dan
Indeed, the RFQ only asked for „trainsets“ (with mentions of locomotives only when describing its legacy fleet):
IMG_5233.jpeg

 
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Indeed. It's not even the first agency in Canada to have requirements like that. UP Express had similar requirements.
I’m not clear on how that constitutes a helpful comparison. This is an intercity order for a company which already operates power and coaches from differing manufacturers. Is a trainset an advantage for manageability? Most likely.

But Siemens were the only manufacturer who could not only make an no-PTC FRA Tier 1 (without Alternate rules) single level diesel trainset but a trainset that was “service proven” in “similar conditions” with “minimal adaptation”

I don’t know what CRRC presented but given events at SEPTA it’s likely for the best it didn’t go anywhere. Without a coaching stock partner EMD couldn’t bid and Wabtec/GE/MotivePower were exiting the passenger market. I am guessing Stadler was the “self powered” responder. Bombardier had no ready to build diesel (ALP45DP can’t do 125 in D mode) and no ready to build modern passenger coach. Alstom - same unless they stuck someone else’s diesel at either end of a modified Avelia (and we see how that’s going). CAF had their own issues with Viewliner and would need a power partner and systems integration. Kawasaki - have enough problems with workforce retention in Nebraska. Did I miss anyone (credible)?

So notwithstanding who bothered to put in a bid, how many of those were merely placeholders to ensure relationships with VIA purchasing in the event Siemens faceplanted or the LDSL fleet could not wait for 2035? When Siemens was so far ahead that even the expected “build them at home” was squashed in about five minutes flat?

VIA needed the cars (and I supported the choice of Siemens) but the bid was put into a very flawed marketplace and we shouldn’t pretend otherwise.
 
Did anything preclude two companies teaming together, with one building the passenger cars, and the other the locomotives?
 
Did anything preclude two companies teaming together, with one building the passenger cars, and the other the locomotives?
I Think if it all falls under one bid,and as long as it meets the requirements of the tender it could be a consortium of companies.
 
So notwithstanding who bothered to put in a bid, how many of those were merely placeholders to ensure relationships with VIA purchasing in the event Siemens faceplanted or the LDSL fleet could not wait for 2035?

These are silly conspiracies. Bids are expensive. Hundreds of thousands to millions to respond. Very rare to see companies bid if they genuinely believe they don't have a shot. Indeed, the federal government has cancelled projects where they ended up with a sole bidder. Federal project practices tend to emphasize as low a standard as practical to ensure maximum competition.
 
Did anything preclude two companies teaming together, with one building the passenger cars, and the other the locomotives?
I can‘t find it in the RFQ I posted, but IIRC, such a configuration was explicitly allowed, provided that the bidding consortium would provide guarantees not just for the locomotives and cars seperately, but for the entire trainsets. For instance, nobody would have stopped Talgo and Bombardier from forming a consortium where one delivered the locomotives and the other the car, as long as the consortium would accept responsibility for the entire trainsets…
 
Why don't Amtrak and VIA just cooperate on procuring their new fleets? Are there any major differences between their long distance fleets that would prevent them from working together (other than political considerations).
 

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