States that are forging ahead with plans for high-speed passenger rail have put out a call for bids for the production of 35 next-generation locomotives.
The request for proposals released Thursday calls for lighter, cleaner-burning locomotives that can reach speeds of up to 125 miles per hour.
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Illinois is leading the procurement. The other states taking part are California, Michigan, Missouri and Washington.
The Federal Railroad Administration has allocated $808 million for the new locomotives and for the construction of 130 bi-level passenger cars.
Those cars will be built at a new plant in Rochelle, Ill., by the American subsidiary of Nippon Sharyo, the company that built Japan's bullet train.
Illinois is working on 110-mph service on routes from Chicago to Detroit and Chicago to St. Louis.