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Amtrak, California teaming up on high-speed rail

  • FILE - In this July 9, 2007, file photo Amtrak's Lincoln Service train passes Illinois cornfields as it speeds through a crossing en route to Chicago. The two biggest players in the nation's pursuit of high-speed rail said Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, they'll work together to search for trains that will operate at up to 220 miles per hour along both coasts of the United States. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

WASHINGTON — The two biggest players in the nation's pursuit of high-speed rail said Thursday they'll work together to search for trains that will operate at up to 220 miles per hour along both coasts of the United States.

Officials with Amtrak and the California High-Speed Rail Authority said they envision that the two systems will purchase about 60 trains over the next decade. The first order could take place next year.

The aim is for manufacturers to design trains that will work for both systems. In the process, their combined buying power should generate better pricing from manufacturers.

"By combining our buying power, potentially, we can drive the market in a way that we can't if we purchase separately," said Jeff Morales, CEO of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

California is expected to begin construction on its high-speed rail in the summer. The first 65-mile segment will run from Merced to Fresno.


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