US Spending $551M For Double-Deck Amtrak Rail Cars

GRAND RAPIDS (WWJ/AP) – The Obama administration is putting out a $551 million request for bids for 130 new U.S.-made double-deck passenger rail cars to serve Amtrak routes in Michigan and other states.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said the cars also would serve routes in Illinois, Indiana, California and Missouri and possibly Iowa.

The new cars would be wireless-Internet equipped, have bicycle storage and more comfortable seats. The cars will increase seating capacity and will improve on-time  performance, the Federal Railroad Administration said.

Funding comes from the Federal Railroad Administration’s High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program.

The department said it will pick a manufacturer this fall and get the cars starting in 2015.

About 25 of the cars would serve Michigan, according to MLive.com. It says they’ll run on the Blue Water, Pere Marquette and Wolverine routes.

Amtrak service to Michigan includes routes from Chicago to Grand Rapids, Pontiac and Port Huron.

MORE: Amtrak Changing Train Schedules In Michigan

Amtrak Gets OK For 110 MPH Travel In Mich., Ind.

MDOT: Amtrak Sets Ridership Records In Michigan

TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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