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SMART’s recommended railcars $23 Million under budget
Tuesday 26 Oct 2010, 11:03
Filed under: bicycle, Marin, Railroad, SMART, Sonoma, trails, transit
Press release: Rail Vehicle Recommendation Released 

General Manger Lillian Hames and the vehicle procurement team of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District are recommending the Board of Directors enter a contract with Sumitomo Corp. of America to build SMART’s passenger rail vehicles at a new plant in Illinois.

The contract would cover the manufacture and delivery of 18 rail cars (nine two-car trains) and cost $56,853,739 – more than $23 million below the original engineer’s estimate for vehicles.

The recommendation was released on Oct. 25. The Board of Directors is expected to discuss the issue at its next regular meeting, 1:30 p.m. Nov. 10 at San Rafael City Hall.

Sumitomo pic

Rail vehicles will be the signature feature of the SMART project, a 70-mile passenger train and parallel bicycle-pedestrian pathway from Cloverdale to Larkspur. The vehicle selection process has been a major focus of the district since nearly 70 percent of the voters in Marin and Sonoma approved Measure Q in November 2008.

A request for proposals from the vehicle industry in April 2010 produced six proposals from five manufacturers. A vehicle evaluation team comprised of SMART staff and consultants reviewed all of the proposals for technical content, and Sumitomo received the highest ranking. After that technical ranking was completed, the evaluation team opened price proposals. Based on an order of nine three-car trains, the price proposals were as follows:

Proposer Price (nine three-car sets)
CAF USA Inc. $ 136.7 million
Siemens $ 121.2 million
Siemens (Alternate Proposal) $ 104.6 million
Stadler Rail AG $ 124.0 million
Sumitomo Corporation of America $ 82.7 million
U.S. Railcar $ 131.5 million

SMART plans a start-up fleet of nine two-car trains, with an option to order “middle” cars for three-car train sets as ridership grows.

Given that Sumitomo was ranked first for its technical proposal and its price was more than $20 million less than the next lowest proposer, SMART entered negotiations with Sumitomo. The proposal met all of SMART’s requirements, including:

·    Satisfaction of all requirements for performance, including operations and passenger
ride quality
·    Crash Energy Management (CEM) system proposed, adding increased safety over the
level specified by SMART and required by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
·    EPA Tier 4 final compliant engines (exceeding current requirements)
·    Fully FRA-compliant (no waivers required)
·    Fully Buy-America compliant, preserving SMART’s opportunity to execute future
options under the contract utilizing federal funding if it becomes available
·    A vehicle with high-quality exterior and interior design deemed to be responsive to the
image that SMART intended for its vehicles
·    Provision of restrooms and service bars as desired in the specification
·    A color and finishing scheme that can be customized to SMART’s preference
·    Provision of 158 seats per train (married pair)
·    ADA access throughout the train and level boarding at stations (no steps or narrow aisle
·    24 primary and 14 secondary bicycle spaces per married pair
·    Work tables, luggage racks, convenience outlets, Wi-Fi, reclining seats and all other
features responsive to SMART’s  requirements
·    Powered third cars proposed as options that include operator cabs, enabling absolute
flexibility for configuration and operation of trains in a variety of vehicle combinations
·    Sumitomo accepted essentially all requirements of SMART’s specification and example
contract document included in the RFP

Sumitomo Corp. of America is a partnership that includes Sumitomo as a financial partner with Nippon Sharyo, a Japanese railcar builder that has provided vehicles for rail transit systems throughout the United States, including Caltrain, Virginia Railway Express, Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, Chicago’s Metra system, the Maryland Department of Transportation, Caltrans and Los Angeles County.  Should the Board of Directors accept the recommendation and enter a contract with Sumitomo, SMART’s rail cars would be substantially built at a new Nippon Sharyo plant in Rochelle, Ill., which opened last week to build Chicago Metra vehicles.

The draft manufacturing schedule calls for the first vehicles to be delivered to SMART in October 2013 and the final vehicle in May 2014. SMART passenger rail service is scheduled to begin in fall 2014.

The full recommendation is available at

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