Opportunities for Small Manufacturers in Next Generation Rail Supply

The Federal Railway Administration has high speed rail projects designed to hook US manufacturers into the supply chain for large advanced rail projects. This will be similar to defense contracting –large companies will be the primes, but they are looking to put together teams of subcontractors. These projects have stringent “Buy American” provisions, and the primes have indicated that they face significant supply chain gaps as most advanced rail work is now in Asia. So there is real opportunity here for US companies.

The DOT has communicated, via interactions with existing car builders and OEMs, that domestic capability and capacity shortages exist relating to:

  • rail car / locomotive transmissions
  • rail car, railway, and locomotive electronic systems
  • specialty castings and forgings for rail cars and locomotives
  • stainless steel and aluminum for rail car body shells.

More than 30 locomotive and rail car manufacturers, both domestic and foreign, have committed to establish or expand their base of operations in the United States if they are chosen by states or groups of states to build America’s next generation high-speed rail lines.

The Next Generation Rail Supply Chain Connectivity efforts will help connect small manufacturers with those committed locomotive and rail car manufacturers and will give them the opportunity to see how they could be part of the domestic supply chain for next generation rail.

For additional information, contact via email Edie Wiarda, MMTC’s Buy American Supplier Scouting Point of Contact, or call 1-888-414-6682. You can also find a wealth of information, including details on the current Diesel Locomotive and Bi-Level Passenger Railcar projects and their Buy America components lists, at http://www.nist.gov/mep/rail.cfm.



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