CTA wants do-over on bids for new 7000 Series rail cars

Thinking it can get better bids, the CTA has rejected the two current bids it got on the new 7000 Series rail cars.

Bombardier, the manufacturer of the newest 5000 Series cars, had submitted a low bid of $1.39 billion to build 846 7000 Series rail cars. Bombardier has already delivered about 460 of 714 5000 Series cars under a $1.14 billion contract.

“We decided to seek new bids for the cars to encourage a wider range of bids from rail car manufacturers around the world,’’ CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase told the Tribune. “We think that requiring compatibility so that the two types of cars can be coupled together was one of the factors that limited the responses we received.”

The 7000 Series will dump the much-hated aisle-facing seats (for the most part) found on the 5000 Series cars.

When it opens up the new bid process, the CTA will ask for a larger base order than the previous 100 cars in order to draw more competition and lower prices.

So, good luck with that.
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  • I commented on this the other day, so those wanting more analysis can click on the embedded link. I'm still convinced that something else is going on.

  • In reply to jack:

    Please do tell us again Jack. Can't rely on everyone seeing all your comments.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    I'll repost the link.

  • How about Toronto Rockets: http://bit.ly/1i1ndsf http://bit.ly/1gjx4OS

    But that's WAY to advanced for Chicago!

  • From a source, they appear to be 6 car articulated units, 460 feet* long, or 77 feet each car, and 8.5 feet wide. While close to fitting in CTA's width clearance, I doubt that CTA has the capability to handle a 460 foot train in its maintenance areas, and certainly a car over 50 feet long would not be able to get around curves (I'm assuming, for instance, that these would have to operate on the Loop for the Orange and Brown Lines).

    Anyway, CTA's point here is to cheapen the specifications. The source says that the cost was $18.2 million for a set of 6 cars, so CTA wasn't throwing out bids for $1.6 million a car for something almost twice as expensive (even taking foreign exchange into account).

    *Used Excel in an attempt to change mm to feet.

  • I was using the Rockets as an example of a type of Dragon Train, it would have to be constructed to accomodate Chicago "L" clearances and platform lengths -- not those particular trains themselves.

    They also must be back-compatible with other classes of "L" car -- with a 4-unit set you could use 2 for an eight-car train equivalent, or 2 + 1 old pair for a 10 car train.

  • Also if you look closely, they are not articulated (each car has two sets of wheels, none share trucks), but do have full-width end connections (except the end cars). They could be designed to make-up/break-up in various lengths depending on the need.

  • I don't care for the aisle-facing seats, but how can CTA justify dumping those new cars? That's too damn expensive not to use them. Can someone explain this?

  • They aren't dumping those, they are just using a different arrangement for the next car order.

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