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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

The China market's 'burgeoning' and 'buoyant' for HLS Systems and Knorr-Bremse

The rail renaissance appears to be alive and well in China.

Today, HLS Systems International Ltd. announced it received another contract — this one's worth $23.8 million — to provide subway automation systems as part of the Line 2 subway expansion in Shenzhen. In July, HMS Systems received a $7.9 million contract from the Chinese government to provide an automation system for Shenzhen Metro Line 1. HLS plans to begin work on the two-year Shenzhen Metro Line 2 project in 2008.

"The PRC government expects to invest over $62 billion to construct at least 55 new subway or light city rail lines over the next 10 years," said HLS Chief Executive Officer Wang Changli in a prepared statement. "We anticipate that this only represents the beginning of an increasing presence for us in China's burgeoning subway industry."

Braking systems provider Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems uses a different "B" word to characterize the Chinese rail marketplace. Against a "background of buoyant demand," Knorr-Bremse announced today it officially launched operations at a new plant in Suzhou, which is about 75 miles northwest of Shanghai.

A workforce of up to 600 will produce and sell braking systems for rail vehicles at the new plant — which replaces a facility that couldn't keep up with order demand, even though it opened in October 2005, Knorr-Bremse said. So far this year in China, Knorr-Bremse has received orders totaling more than $184 million.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/11/2007