The U.S. Department of Transportation and State of Illinois have now officially awarded a $352 million contract to build high speed rail cars in Rochelle, Illinois. As WGLT reported in September, the award to the Nippon Sharyo plant recruited to Illinois depended on passing an audit for American made parts. The 130 passenger rail cars will be delivered starting in 2015 and will go to California and the midwest Amtrak hub operating out of Chicago to several states. The new cars will be able to operate at speed up to 125 miles per hour and deal with extreme weather throughout the country. Transportation officials say the stainless steel car body is designed to provide a longer usable life with reduced maintenance requirements. Cars will have wi-fi, extra room between seats in all classes of service and exceed current ADA requirements. The bi-level design will carry up to 90 people per coach.
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