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Sat June 19 2021

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Texas railway awards $1.6bn electrical package

5 May Texas Central Railroad has signed a US$1.6bn (£1.15bn) contract for the installation of the core electrical systems needed for what is set to be the USA’s first high-speed rail service.

Kiewit Infrastructure South and affiliate Mass Electric Construction have won the contract, which includes the installation critical safety and systems elements such as traction power, signalling and communications equipment for the route from Dallas to Houston.

The system Texas Central Railroad proposes to build in Texas will replicate the proven Japanese Tokaido Shinkansen high-speed rail system, as operated by the Central Japan Railway Company (JRC). Texas Central chose this system because of its reputation as being one of the safest and most punctual train systems in the world. In its 55+ year history, it has transported over 10 billion passengers with a safety record of zero operational passenger fatalities and zero accidents since first deployed. This technology moves more than 400,000 passengers every day.

The core systems that will be installed are a key component of the N700S Shinkansen technology being deployed for the Texas Central Railroad. Texas Central is using an integrated approach ensuring all parts of construction and operations are married together both for safety and for efficient and cost-effective operations. It said that using a "complete systems approach" creates unparalleled safety performance with the trains, infrastructure and supporting high-speed rail technology designed and engineered to work together as an integrated unit.

“Kiewit and Mass Electric are national leaders in installing complex and large-scale electric systems and have long track records of delivering high-quality rail systems safely and effectively,” said Carlos Aguilar, CEO of Texas Central Railroad. “Combining their experience with the safety of an integrated system is essential to the operation of the Texas Central Railroad. Signing this contract is the next step in making the Texas Central Railroad the first high-speed rail system to be implemented in the United States.”

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“We commend Texas Central on their commitment to delivering the first high-speed rail system in the United States,” said Mark Williams, Kiewit's project director at Mass Electric. “Through their leadership and our extensive rail experience and expertise, we are well-equipped for success.”

The rail project will create an estimated 17,000 direct jobs during the six years of construction, over 20,000 supply chain jobs and more than 1,400 direct permanent jobs when the train is fully operational. 

Salini Impregilo - now Webuild - was awarded the US$14bn civils contract in September 2019.

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