Calidot Challenges

Delivery dates for the much-delayed CALIDOT project are getting close and as we have seen on many projects, as deadlines approach, timing and delivery adjustments have to be made to accommodate the final production phase.

Recently CALIDOT shortened the timeline for DTi's enclosure seals from 10-12 weeks to 1-2 weeks.

CALIDOT is the name for a fleet of single-level intercity railroad passenger cars being built by Siemens Mobility for Amtrak to supply California and several mid-western states.


Siemens replaced Nippon Sharyo as a subcontractor in late 2017; under this $371m contract, the 137 single-level cars will be delivered in 2020–2023.

CALIDOT is a blend of Caltrans and IDOT (Illinois Department of Transportation), the two state agencies leading the project.


The plan originally was to build a fleet of 130 bi-level railcars to supplement or replace single-level Amfleet and Horizon cars in the Midwest and bilevel Surfliner and California cars in California.

The program had an ambitious timeline and was meant to be delivered 2015-2018 by Sumitomo and Nippon Sharyo.  However, the original bi-level passenger car design suffered a critical safety requirement failure in August 2015.  It failed the buff strength test which involves resistance to deformation or permanent damage from loads applied at the car's ends.  This led to Siemens taking over the project in 2017 and the whole design changed from bi-level to single-level cars..

This failure and the redesign put the project back 5 years and the pressure was on to deliver the rolling stock as fast as possible.

Seal-Fast Seals

Seal-Fast seals were specified for this project to protect enclosures from heat, light, dust, and water.

As mentioned above Siemens pulled in the delivery requirements for the enclosure/door seals, shortening the delivery time from 10-12 weeks to 1-2 weeks.  A significant challenge to any manufacturer.- DTi used its extensive technical knowledge, sourcing skills, and manufacturing flexibility to react fast and deliver the product on time for Siemens.

It wasn't easy but we did it – DTi’s experience and flexibility help maximize customer satisfaction.

We have hundreds of profiles ready for production or can custom design a seal profile to meet your needs.

Read more about Seal-Fast seals here