We visit a sampling of projects, from Maryland MTA’s Purple Line, which was approved to be delivered via public-private partnership, to Perth, Australia, where a 14-mile network is being planned.
President of Alstom Transportation in North America Guillaume Mehlman cites vehicle accessibility, increased speed and catenary-free capabilities developed for projects in the international market as foreseeable trends in the U.S.
Vehicle suppliers are stepping up to offer services for every facet of ownership, from installation of rail to refurbishment and modernization. Also, many are focusing on practices already in place throughout the world, where risk of ownership is actually transferred back to the company, enabling the rail operator to operate the system on an established fixed cost.
Company predicts steady growth and continued expansion into new global markets. Products unveiled at the exhibit included a new high-speed rail platform.
Although funding impacts businesses as much as high-speed rail authorities, many manufacturers are excited for the opportunity to provide services in the U.S. and optimistic their products have what it will take.
In addition to meeting the Dec. 31, 2015 deadline, rail operations are faced with cost issues, project deferrals and ensuring interoperability between systems.
The technology is heading toward more automation and integration. The inclusion of security and information management systems in projects is growing substantially.
The new $1.4 million, 120,000-square-foot rail service facility on Mare Island, currently offers the capacity to work on 15 railcars. The site, which features a 50-foot maintenance pit, is set up to handle maintenance/wreck repair, renovation/rebuilds, and supply chain management services.
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