How Busy has 2015 Been for U.S. High Speed Rail Projects and Similar Bids?

Jim Ward and Bill Culhane, from BidPrime, recently interviewed Mr. Angel Carrera, Branch Chief of the DGS Procurement Division, California Purchasing. During their conversation on ‘The Big Bid Theory’ regarding a variety of topics related to procurement in California, We heard Mr. Carrera mention the number of opportunities and bid requests for the enormous California High-Speed Rail project (Phase 1 has a price tag of ~$70 billion).

With that discussion on the podcast as the catalyst, I evaluated where the U.S. stands in high-speed rail, and by extension, rail systems. Finally, we investigated government procurement activity related to those subjects.

When it comes to high-speed rail, the U.S. ranks low on the world stage. According to the US High Speed Rail Association, the U.S. sits twelfth in the world in national investment in rail infrastructure. As a comparison, China, which introduced high-speed rail merely two decades ago, operates 60% of the world’s high-speed rail.

Attempting to close the gap, along with the California project, there are the beginning stages, and actual projects underway, elsewhere in the United States. Illuminating one of these cases, earlier this week, The Washington Post reported on a high-speed rail project to connect Washington D.C. and Baltimore.

Of course, the history of rail transportation in this country goes back a long way, nearly two centuries. Today, there are over 200,000 miles of railroad track in the United States. The U.S. also has installed over 19,000,000 wood, concrete, steel, and composite railroad ties.

In addition to track and ties, of course, there are a myriad of other components to rail systems. As we’ve seen in our database and through our research, with or without high-speed rail, agencies at all levels throughout the U.S. are in the market for rail equipment, materials, systems and solutions.

In the past 365 days, there have been 378 relevant bid requests. 327 of these requests have come from state and local entities, 51 from federal agencies. Here’s a more precise breakdown:

Most active states

Most active SLED entities

Most active federal departments

Sample Active Bids/RFPs


For a detailed analysis of this market and for bid request info, call us at 888.808.5356 or visit BidPrime.

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