Posts Tagged ‘Nippon Sharyo’

Siemens Cars to Replace Sharyo Cars

September 5, 2017

Single-level passenger cars built by Siemens will replace bi-level coaches that were to have been built by Nippon Sharyo. The cars are to be used on Amtrak corridor routes funded by state governments.

The departments of transportation of California and some Midwest states had ordered 130 bi-level cars from Sharyo that were to be built in Rochelle, Illinois.

However, design problems and the inability of a prototype to pass federal rigidity tests delayed the order.

The California Department of Transportation, which is leading procurement of the cars, has said it will substitute 130 Siemens cars for the Sharyo order.

The number of seats will be reduced, but state officials said the time frame for delivering the cars will be shortened from five years to 24 to 34 months.

In the Midwest, the Siemens cars are expected to replace Horizon equipment.

GAO Wants Better FRA Oversight of Car Order

June 4, 2016

The U.S. Government Accountability Office is recommending that the Federal Railroad Administration improve its oversight of the stalled project to build new passenger cars for Midwest and West Coast corridor passenger trains.

The agency issued its report in the wake of funding uncertainty for a 172-car order placed with Nippon Sharyo.

FRAMost of those cars – 130 – are being funded by a $551 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

But that grant will expire on Sept. 17, 2017, if it is not spent by then.

The rest of the passenger cars are being funded by California Department of Transportation and are not subject to the same federal grant.

Production of the cars was halted after a prototype shell failed a compression test last August at the Nippon Sharyo factory in Rochelle, Illinois.

Engineers and designers have sought to find a solution to the problem but thus far have not come up with one.

The GAO said the FRA could be more effective in managing grant money by requiring “timely and actionable information on grantee performance” in its review process, giving grant recipients more specific guidance for tracking information such as deliverables and project milestones, and by formalizing a training plan for grantees and agency staff.

“Prior to 2009, FRA had a very limited grant portfolio, receiving appropriations for approximately $30 million in grant funding in fiscal year 2008, for example,” the report said. “With expanded responsibilities, the agency had to quickly award approximately $8 billion in Recovery Act funds while simultaneously developing policies and procedures for grants management.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation said it concurs with the report’s findings and will report within 60 days its plans to implement the recommendations.

Nippon Sharyo Says it Will Complete Car Order

May 23, 2016

A passenger car builder that has fallen behind schedule on constructing 172 new bi-level cars for Amtrak corridor service in the Midwest and California said it is committed to finishing the project.

Work at the Nippon Sharyo factory in Rochelle, Illinois, ground to a halt last year when a prototype car failed a compression test.

Nippon SharyoNippon Sharyo has laid 98 workers at the plant and the federal funding for the project may be in jeopardy if the order is not completed by Sept. 30, 2017.

In statement published on the website of Trains magazine, the Japanese company said it is still working to resolve engineering issues that caused the prototype car to fail the test.

The statement also said completion of the entire order is likely to be delayed.

“(We) have been diligently working with the customer and stakeholder to remedy the situation while ensuring that all the rigorous FRA safety standards and requirements are met in order to deliver a safe, high quality, 100-percent Buy America compliant car to the customer,” Nippon Sharyo said in the statement.

“Nippon Sharyo is committed to this project and to the growth and success of its manufacturing facility in Rochelle.

Although we are currently facing difficult times, and some temporary labor reductions, we are committed to investing in our workforce, getting production back on schedule, and being successful and prosperous in the near future.”

Passenger Car Order at Risk of Losing Funds

May 18, 2016

A project to build 130 passenger cars for use on corridor trains in the Midwest and California is in danger of being sidetracked because it might lose its funding.

Trains magazine reported that the project is in danger of losing $551 in federal funds, which will be returned to the U.S. treasury if not spend by Sept. 30, 2017.

Nippon SharyoThe cars are to be built by Nippon Sharyo in Rochelle, Illinois, but little progress has been made since a prototype car failed a compression test last fall.

A car shell buckled under the compression of the required 800,000 pounds, for reasons that the manufacturer has not yet identified.

In the meantime, Nippon Sharyo has suspended work on the cars and laid off 98 workers.

The company has invested $50 million in the facility as part of a federal law’s “Buy America” provisions.

Bruce Roberts, chief of California’s Division of Rail in the Department of Public Transportation, the agency overseeing the procurement, said Congress could extend the funding, but that seems unlikely.

He said Nippon Sharyo is “actively working” on a redesign of the cars to address the test requirements, and together Caltran, the Illinois transportation department, and the Federal Railroad Administration are “working with (the manufacturer) to explore other funding options.”