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Passenger rail-car supply industry has growth potential, Duke study shows


The U.S. passenger rail-car supply industry could experience considerable growth in the coming years as Amtrak upgrades its cars and adds high-speed trains, and as lawmakers consider a transportation bill that calls for greater investments in public transit, including rail, according to a new Duke University study prepared for the Apollo Alliance.

States such as New York, Pennsylvania and California, which are home to a combined 80 passenger-car-related manufacturing facilities, would reap major benefits from the bill, according to the study.

“Our research found that while there is already a healthy chain of U.S.-based suppliers that manufacture components and systems for rail cars, the sector still has plenty of room to grow if the next federal transportation bill prioritizes public transit and rail investments,” said report author Marcy Lowe, a senior research analyst at the Duke University Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness, in a prepared statement.

The report, “U.S. Manufacture of Rail Vehicles for Intercity Passenger Rail and Urban Transit: A Value Chain Analysis,” analyzes the production of U.S. rail vehicles in six categories: intercity passenger, high-speed, regional, metro, light rail and streetcars.

The U.S. rail supply chain includes at least 247 manufacturing locations in 35 states, according to the report’s findings.

“These states have a real chance to be at the center of America’s 21st century rail manufacturing industry,” said Phil Angelides, chairman of the Apollo Alliance.

The report concludes that growing the U.S. rail manufacturing industry will require committing “much larger and more consistent U.S. investments to intercity passenger and urban transit rail."

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More News from 6/25/2010