M-1 RAIL Picks International Company to Build Streetcars

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DETROIT — M-1 RAIL announced it has selected a company, and will begin negotiations for the design and build of six individual streetcars, — expected to be approximately $30 million — which will run along the Woodward Avenue route beginning in 2016.  

“M-1 RAIL will negotiate the final terms and conditions with Inekon Group to build our streetcars,” says Paul Childs, chief operating officer of M-1 RAIL. “Inekon has a strong track record with other streetcar projects in Portland, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., and owns a 40-percent share of U.S.-installed projects. While Inekon is headquartered in the Czech Republic, our requirements specify that it will be compliant with the U.S. government’s “Buy America” initiative.”

Childs said that the Buy America provisions ensure that U.S.-based transportation infrastructure projects are built with American-made products. 

The M-1 team will announce a final assembly location in the future, but several locations in Southeast Michigan are under consideration.  

Childs said the negotiations with Inekon, coming on the heels of the recently announced contract for the Penske Technical Center, will complete the design, engineering and construction requirements for the M-1 RAIL project. 

“Among our next significant activities will be to develop requirements and solicit proposals for the system operator, which will eventually run the entire line,” Childs says.

The final design of the streetcars, as well as future contracts with U.S-based or Michigan suppliers will be announced later as the project proceeds.  M-1 RAIL expects to be operational in 2016, according to Childs.

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