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MTA's R-251 vacuum train order goes to NEU International Railways of France

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MTA's R-251 vacuum train order goes to NEU International Railways of France

MTA has been approve on purchasing 3 vaktrak trains...
To obtain Board approval to award a competitively solicited contract to NEU International Railways (NEU) to purchase three vacuum
trains at a total price of $22,966,046. This action also requests Board approval to increase the scope of the Purchase Vacuum Trains
project in the 2010-2014 Capital Program from two to three vacuum trains.
Pursuant to subdivision 9(f) of Section 1209 of the Public Authorities Law, an Authorizing Resolution to issue a Request for Proposals
(RFP) was approved by the Board in September 2013 for the purchase of two vacuum trains, with the funding for the equipment
provided in the MTA Capital Program. Prior to issuance of the RFP, in order to cultivate competition, members from the Department
of Subways (DOS) - the Divisions of Car Equipment (DCE) and Maintenance of Way - as well as Procurement visited vacuum train
manufacturers and transit properties in Europe who own vacuum trains. Further, a Request for Information (RFP) was generated in
December 2012 in an attempt to identify more competition. This RFP was advertised internationally and the outreach included
contacting 26 firms with responses received from 12 firms.
The RFP was publicly advertised, both locally and internationally, in January 2014 and a notice was sent to all firms who responded to
the RFP. A total of 12 firms picked up the RFP package. On May 16, 2014, proposals were received from three firms: Oregon Iron
Works Inc. (OIW), NEU and Schorling kommunal GmbH (Schorling), in the amounts $35,156,467, $19,626,375 and $16,941,260
A vacuum train is a piece of track bed cleaning equipment consisting of an operator cab, self-powered vacuuming and filtering
apparatus and storage space for the debris collected. Vacuum trains are used in DOS' Division of Track operations to remove debris
from the track bed which can cause fires resulting in delays in service. The new vacuum trains will replace the two existing selfpropelled
vacuum trains which began service in 1997 and 2000 and have now reached the end of their useful lives. In order to
eliminate dependency on its own propulsion system and maximize availability, in the event of a propulsion failure, the new vacuum
trains will not be self-propelled. Each train will be moved through the system by NYC Transit locomotives. The new vacuum trains
will employ improved debris agitation and suction systems to improve vacuuming efficiency in a single pass and enable NYC Transit
to increase the amount of track bed to be cleaned and maximize the speed and effectiveness of the cleaning operation.
After evaluating initial proposals for the purchase of two vacuum trains, the Selection Committee determined that the three proposers
appeared to be qualified to perform the work. This evaluation was conducted in accordance with the stated evaluation criteria, which
included compliance with the specifications; experience of the project team in similar projects; management approach and staffing plan;
product maintainability (including optimizing the use of Commercial Off The Shelf components) and operation of equipment; plan
to meet or reduce the maximum delivery schedule; the quality assurance program; experience in providing quality training,
manuals, drawings, and aftermarket support; overall project cost and value to the Authority; and other relevant matters including
compliance with and acceptance of NYC Transit’s terms and conditions; clarity and completeness of the written proposal, quality of
oral presentation.
The Selection Committee voted unanimously to invite all three proposers to give oral presentations. The technical ranking of the
proposers was NEU first, OIW second and Schorling third. After oral presentations, the Selection Committee unanimously decided
to negotiate with NEU and Schorling, both of whom have demonstrated significant experience in building vacuum trains. OIW was
eliminated from further consideration because its price was significantly outside of the competitive range and the oral presentation
further illuminated that the nature of its proposal was primarily research and development based, with no prior experience of having
actually built a vacuum train.
Negotiations were held with both NEU and Schorling between July and September 2014 with a focus on pricing, the technical
aspects of the proposals, delivery schedules as well as the commercial aspects of each proposal, including payment terms and
During the course of the negotiation period, the issue of acquiring a third vacuum train was raised by DOS. This third vacuum train
will allow NYC Transit to further increase its cleaning frequency, allow for more efficient vacuum train operations and support
operation of the trains in as many as three of the sub-divisions simultaneously. The third train will also permit more efficient
preventative maintenance of the vacuum trains while still providing adequate system coverage. Collectively, with the purchase of
these three vacuum trains, NYC Transit will effectively reduce the debris buildup which can cause track fires, thus mitigating service
delays. Procurement leveraged this quantity change in its negotiations with both proposers to reduce pricing by taking into account
economies of scale. As a result, a request for pricing for three vacuum trains was included in the request for Best and Final Offers
On October 2, 2014, NYC Transit requested BAFOs which included price proposals for the purchase of both two and three trains.
BAFOs were received on October 10, 2014 as follows:
3 trains: $22,966,046* 
2 trains: $17,280,969*
3 trains: $25,005,310 
2 trains: $17,182,730
* This represents NEU’s BAFO prices which included an advantageous alternate accelerated delivery schedule (deemed acceptable
by NYC Transit prior to BAFO) with an associated monetary credit.
After review of the BAFOs in accordance with the evaluation criteria, the Selection Committee unanimously selected NEU for award
of this contract as NEU was evaluated as being technically superior, based on its demonstrated higher level of proficiency in
vacuuming technology and its ability to integrate NYC Transit’s requirements into its design solution, as well as offering the lowest
overall price for the purchase of three trains. NEU’s accelerated delivery schedule was considerably better than that offered by
Schorling and is an improvement over the RFP schedule. NEU will manufacture the vacuuming equipment at its plant in Lille,
France and ship it to its strategic subcontractor Socofer. Socofer, the carbuilder, located in Tours, France, will integrate NEU’s
equipment into the train. The first train will arrive 24 months after Notice of Award (NOA) as per the schedule in the RFP, with the
second and third train being delivered 31 and 35 months after NOA respectively, which is an improvement of four months and six
months respectively over the RFP schedule. The Selection Committee determined that based on its technical superiority, the
accelerated delivery schedule and lower price, NEU’s proposal offers the best overall value to NYC Transit. NEU was the
manufacturer of NYC Transit’s existing vacuum trains and is recognized as a world leader in the supply of vacuum trains with
equipment in operation in Paris, Brussels, Rome, Munich, Seoul and Santiago (Chile). The Selection Committee also unanimously
determined that if the award was being made on the basis of two trains NEU would also have been the selected awardee.
It should be noted that despite having been given multiple opportunities by NYC Transit through the process, Schorling was unable
to demonstrate the viability of its proposed vacuuming/suction hood design solution and how it would meet the exhaust temperature
and noise requirements.
NEU’s price of $22,966,046 is broken out as follows: three vacuum trains at $21,023,940 ($7,007,980 each x 3) plus $1,942,106
comprised of non-car items (which includes spare parts, special tools, manuals, training, car history books, drawings and bonding
costs). Procurement, NYC Transit’s Cost/Price Analysis Unit and DCE’s Work Car Engineering group reviewed the prices and
concluded that NEU’s price of $22,966,046, which is $13,518,231 (37%) lower than the three train in-house estimate of $36,484,277,
is fair and reasonable. The price per train for two trains from the initial price proposal was $8,322,103. The price per train for the
BAFO representing three trains is $7,007,980 resulting in a reduction in the price of $1,314,123 (16%) per train.
The trains proposed by NEU will consist of three cars: two filter cars, one of which will house the operator’s cab, and a third center
car which houses the vacuuming system.
Background investigations and Questionnaires submitted by NEU disclosed no “significant adverse information” within the meaning
of the All-Agency Responsibility Guidelines. Procurement and DCE finds NEU to be responsible and the NYC Transit Controller’s
Office determined that the firm is financially qualified to receive this contract award.
Note, this contract is subject to review and approval of the Office of the NY State Comptroller (OSC) and award will not be made
prior to this approval.
Based on the Scope of Work and lack of subcontracting opportunities, no goals were established.
Additional funding has been made available via the Capital Plan Amendment staff summary dated July 28, 2014 providing funding
for the Service Vehicles category of NYC Transit’s 2010-2014 Capital Program, which allowed a $35.6 million budget to be
established for the Purchase Vacuum Trains project. This $35.6 million budget was based on an earlier bid estimate (prior to
advertisement) of $26.5 million to purchase two vacuum trains, plus design and support costs. Since the negotiated price of
$22,966,046 for the purchase of three trains is less than the earlier bid estimate, there is sufficient funding in the project budget to
award the project.
It is recommended that the Board approve award of a competitively solicited contract to NEU International Railways for the purchase
of three vacuum trains at a total price of $22,966,046 and concurrently approve a scope increase to the Purchase Vacuum Train
project in the 2010-2014 Capital Program for a total of three vacuum trains.
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