freight train

Procurement Contracting

One critical and growing area of railroad development in which RLBA assists its clients is in the procurement process.  RLBA’s capabilities range from reviewing procurement contracts to writing and/or reviewing responses to RFPs varying from rail operation services to railcar acquisitions.  RLBA works closely with clients nationwide to oversee the process and ensure seamless procurement of rail-related services and materials.

Select Project Descriptions:


Amtrak retained RLBA to assist it in the development of a proposal to respond to a Request for Proposal (RFP) to select a contractor to operate the Caltrain commuter service between San Francisco and Gilroy, California. Working as an extension of Amtrak staff, RLBA Senior Professionals worked on location at Amtrak’s Philadelphia headquarters, embedded into its Policy and Development Department. RLBA was involved in the creation, editing and review of all proposal sections other than legal and administrative ones. RLBA assisted Amtrak by making sure it was responsive to the Caltrain RFP and that Amtrak produced an innovative proposal that would put Amtrak in the best light.


RLBA supported the bid of two partners in a unique and precedent-setting arrangement to operate the commuter rail services of Metrolink in Los Angeles region. RLBA reviewed and proposed enhancements to an outline of Transdev’s proposal to operate Metrolink service, providing extensive comments and relating its knowledge of and experience with that commuter rail service. This firm also was asked to screen potential candidates, assisting Transdev in staffing its management team. RLBA also reviewed and commented upon the proposed, detailed assignment (“run cuts”) of train crews to staff Metrolink’s current train schedules. Finally, RLBA was asked to review and commented extensively on the final draft of the Transdev-BNSF proposal.


RLBA provided negotiation assistance to the Port of Seattle and King County (Washington) by reviewing and providing comments on a draft Purchase and Sale Agreement entered into by the Port of Seattle, King County (Seattle) and BNSF Railway concerning the purchase of a light density rail line, the BNSF Woodinville Subdivision, in parts of King and Snohomish Counties. It also assisted those public entities in obtaining from BNSF the data necessary to support the solicitation of a contract rail operator to provide common carrier freight and passenger services on the line once BNSF terminated its service thereon. Finally, RLBA oversaw the procurement process in which BNSF solicited and sought to contract with short line rail freight and passenger operators, including reviewing a summary of the third party operator bids and conveying comments to the Port to advance additional negotiation points.