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RFP issued for Amfleet I replacement

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PVD

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Fair point, but they have quite a bit going on in the US already. By the time that runs out, things could be different. If they are employing people in this country, and buying the components from US sources, people might have short memories, or seem to put the blinders on.
 

rickycourtney

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With our buy America requirements and Siemens seeming to be the only long standing rail equipment manufacturer, it very much can become a monopoly, at least in the US. Globally it won't, but why should we make it, or any company the default choice in this country? We aren't likely to get rid of the buy American rule and setting up new manufacturing capacity is fairly difficult which is part of what hurt CAF. So if Amtrak and the states pick Siemens and only Siemens, and local governments go for Siemens LRVs, who is going to survive the dry spells in rail spending? Siemens will for sure, but who else will? That is the problem I have with only selecting Siemens is we will eventually build a local monopoly with high barriers to entry for competition.
You're totally ignoring the fact that there are several other companies that are established here in the US.

Building off what PVD said...
Bombardier has been providing a seemingly endless stream of its iconic and Buy America-compliant BiLevel coaches to American customers for nearly three decades. Alstom has a plant in Hornell that's making the next-gen Acela and previously built the Surfliner cars and more than 1,000 R160 cars for the NYC Subway. Those two companies are about to merge into one mega-company that will challenge Siemens and CRRC on the world (and US) stage. I'm sure they will survive the "dry spells in rail spending."

Beyond that, Hyundai Rotem, Kawasaki, and Stadler all have recently built equipment for the US market... and are major international players (especially Kawasaki).

part of the logic behind non discrimination laws is to increase access to previously excluded groups, but not in a way that would generally make business harder just for the sake of expanding access.
The FRA just published a lengthy report that we were discussing that concluded, "the next generation of passenger rail vehicles can be designed to be more inclusive and universal, providing accessibility for passengers using WhMD (wheeled mobility devices)." Clearly the thinking on accessibility is shifting from that definition you shared.

Plus you're discussing sleeping cars... which Amtrak isn't even contemplating purchasing at this time. The leadership clearly wants more clarity on the future of the long-distance network before investing in new equipment.
 

me_little_me

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A very large part of of a railcar is made up of components sourced from other suppliers and assembled by the prime. There are certainly car builders in the US aside from that can fabricate shells and assemble cars, Bombardier in Plattsburgh, Alstom in Hornell (subject to marriage vows), Kawasaki in Lincoln, NE and Yonkers, although they have been a subway car builder to date, Stadler, volume ability tbd CAF, we are living through that....CRRC, Hyundai/Rotem
Then, of course, should there be no US competitors, a future congress can change the Buy-American act or modify it to allow portions built in other countries and final assembly here which will give a competitor a less expensive way to at least open plants for only a portion of the construction which later can be expanded if the rule relaxation is temporary, to spread out their costs for plants over many years.
 

west point

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How about one elevator per train set ? That is a problem with reduntacy but can imagine elevator could have a standby mechanical operation. Place it in a lounge car!
 

jis

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Then, of course, should there be no US competitors, a future congress can change the Buy-American act or modify it to allow portions built in other countries and final assembly here which will give a competitor a less expensive way to at least open plants for only a portion of the construction which later can be expanded if the rule relaxation is temporary, to spread out their costs for plants over many years.
Under the current political atmosphere, irrespective of who gets elected, I don't think a dilution of the Buy American requirements is on the cards for quite a while. Have you seen some of Biden's recent TV commercials?

To some extent at the cost of additional time to delivery fabrication abroad can already be done. Rotem did that with the SEPTA cars. They shipped the Stainless Steel sheets to Korea to be fabricated into car shells that were then shipped back to the US for completion. There is a proportion of the net value that has to be sourced in the US. You can slice things the way you want as long as you meet those requirements. Nobody who is supplying hundreds of cars, and are sane, would go for such a risky proposition in the production line. For a small order yeah, it may be useful.
 
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railiner

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I am wondering how far that "buy American" rule extends to Amtrak purchasing. The reason I asked is, when I worked at the Denver station in the '70's and '80's, we replaced our Army surplus hand-me-down Clark fork lifts with a Japanese tractor and fork lift....
 

PVD

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In some cases, it depends on the item, and how it is financed. On the other hand, a Japanese name doesn't always mean made in Japan, and a so-called American name does not mean made in the USA. Right now, many of the vehicles with the highest US content are manufactured in the US by Honda and Toyota.
 

jis

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I am wondering how far that "buy American" rule extends to Amtrak purchasing. The reason I asked is, when I worked at the Denver station in the '70's and '80's, we replaced our Army surplus hand-me-down Clark fork lifts with a Japanese tractor and fork lift....
I suspect that back then the equivalent of the current Buy American laws were very different. I am not even sure what they were. The current laws are of much more recent vintage..

Basically there are two factors that play into this, one legal and one political...

1. Legally, any purchase funded by federal funds has to abide by the current Buy American laws. If you are not using federal funds you can do whatever, like NJT bought a bunch of rolling stock that was self funded with no federal funding component which did not meet the Buy America requirements. This included the Stadlers for the RiverLINE.

2. Political. Brightline from the getgo being politically savvy said and adhered to Buy American irrespective of who was funding the purchase. It just plays well to the gallery, and in this case also helped establish Siemens with a factory for main line equipment in the US. This was a case where Buy American, though not legally required, worked well for all parties concerned and incidentally for Amtrak and Amtrak run state outfits too.
 

rickycourtney

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I am wondering how far that "buy American" rule extends to Amtrak purchasing. The reason I asked is, when I worked at the Denver station in the '70's and '80's, we replaced our Army surplus hand-me-down Clark fork lifts with a Japanese tractor and fork lift....
In really simple terms, if any of the funding for the purchase of rolling stock comes from Federal tax dollars, “the cost of the components and subcomponents produced in the U.S. must be more than 70 percent. Final assembly for rolling stock also must occur in the U.S.”

There’s also a provision that explains the partial foreign assembly that jis described, “For rolling stock purchases for which the average cost of the vehicle is more than $300,000, the FAST Act allows the cost of steel or iron produced in the U.S. and used in the rolling stock frames or car shells to be included in the domestic content calculation, regardless of whether the frame or car shell is produced in the U.S.”

Source: Federal Transit Administration
 
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Andrew

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Charlie King at Amtrak confirms that they're keeping the lid tight, but they are working through some “technical packages” and apparently they hope to make an announcement by the end of the summer.

They also appear to confirm that WSDOT will be tacking on to the Amtrak order.
I wonder if any of the bids or "technical packages" includes a consortium, such as Siemens parterning with Stadler.
 

NSC1109

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I wonder if any of the bids or "technical packages" includes a consortium, such as Siemens parterning with Stadler.
Wouldn’t be unheard of. Lots of companies do that sort of thing (ULA for example).
 

Andrew

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I just find it hard to believe that only one company would build 500 coaches.
 

PVD

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Sometimes it is a matter of timing. What is already going on in their factories?
You can build a certain quantity in a given period of time. Increasing the rate may involve hiring and training, factory size and space, overtime costs, storage space. Sometimes, it is financially favorable to sub contract or share. Convair didn't sell very many 880/990, but others contracted fabrication of fuselage sections to them. Delivering 125 cars a year for 4 years is a vastly different proposition than 250 a year for 2 or 500 for 1.
 

jis

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I just find it hard to believe that only one company would build 500 coaches.
Why? There are four or five companies in India, most of them subsidiaries of Indian Railways, each of which build over 500 cars per year with variety of furnishing, year in and year out for many years. If there is actual demand, sure that can be done by a single company, or even many companies.

CRRC is another example in China.
 

joelkfla

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Why? There are four or five companies in India, most of them subsidiaries of Indian Railways, each of which build over 500 cars per year with variety of furnishing, year in and year out for many years. If there is actual demand, sure that can be done by a single company, or even many companies.

CRRC is another example in China.
And then there is Bombardier. :D
 

jis

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And then there is Bombardier. :D
In India Bombardier has licensed CLW and DLW to manufacture electric locomotives based on two original Bombardier TRAXX designs and derivatives designed by IR's RDSO Research and Design outfit. Those two together manufacture around 750-850 electric locomotives a year, all delivered to IR basically of three classes freight Co-Co WAG-9, passenger Bo-Bo WAP-5 (200kph/125 mph) and and passenger Co-Co WAP-7 (160kph/100mph).
 
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Willbridge

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Sometimes it is a matter of timing. What is already going on in their factories?
You can build a certain quantity in a given period of time. Increasing the rate may involve hiring and training, factory size and space, overtime costs, storage space. Sometimes, it is financially favorable to sub contract or share. Convair didn't sell very many 880/990, but others contracted fabrication of fuselage sections to them. Delivering 125 cars a year for 4 years is a vastly different proposition than 250 a year for 2 or 500 for 1.
One batch of Denver RTD's LRV's was delivered later than originally planned to better fit into the Siemens production line. There were economic benefits, but in general I've noticed that transportation customers can be more flexible when they are certain that they will be getting a long-run good product.
 

PVD

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That depends on how much they need the product, and/or if it brings them a measurable economic benefit.
 

joelkfla

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In India Bombardier has licensed CLW and DLW to manufacture electric locomotives based on two original Bombardier TRAXX designs and derivatives designed by IR's RDSO Research and Design outfit. Those two together manufacture around 750-850 electric locomotives a year, all delivered to IR basically of three classes freight Co-Co WAG-9, passenger Bo-Bo WAP-5 (200kph/125 mph) and and passenger Co-Co WAP-7 (160kph/100mph).
I was thinking about their in-house manufacturing record in Canada.
 

west point

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Bombardier Canada has a checkered past especially their airplane parts building. I would not give them a contract to build a horse drawn street car wagon.
 

Andrew

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I wonder which criteria Amtrak will use to make their final decision on which company will get the Amfleet contract.
 
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