New Report Showcases America’s Rail, Transit Manufacturing Opportunity

The BlueGreen Alliance and the Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) released a groundbreaking new report illustrating the breadth of the U.S. transit and passenger rail manufacturing footprint.

January 30, 2015

Report Maps U.S. Rail, Transit Manufacturing Footprint, Highlights Critical Impact of Federal Transportation Investment on Manufacturing Growth Nationwide

WASHINGTON, DC (January 30, 2015) – The BlueGreen Alliance and the Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) today released a groundbreaking new report illustrating the breadth of the U.S. transit and passenger rail manufacturing footprint, showing businesses and  jobs nationwide that are being sustained by state and federal investments in rail and transit. The report—Passenger Rail and Transit Rail Manufacturing in the U.S.—found more than 750 companies in at least 39 states that manufacture transit and passenger railcars, locomotives and their components and related materials and equipment today.

The groups said the report shows that there is a powerful opportunity to grow transit and passenger rail manufacturing nationwide, but argued that success depends on leadership from Congress to make the long-term investments in rail and transit that are key to sustaining a strong and globally competitive industry.

“This report underscores that investing in the transportation systems we need for a strong, prosperous economy, is also critical to rebuild good manufacturing jobs all across the country—in communities both nearby and far from the transit and rail systems themselves” said Kim Glas, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “We need leadership from Congress to ensure long-term, sustainable funding for transportation, and from leaders at every level to ensure that as we build and operate the clean energy and transportation infrastructure and technology of the future, we also rebuild good family supporting jobs and prosperous communities.”

“Modernizing our nation’s passenger rail and transit systems will improve mobility, alleviate congestion on highways and at airports, and will reduce pollution. This report shows that sound policies to accelerate passenger rail and transit will grow the economy and drive job creation at large manufacturing businesses, smaller fabricating companies, and technical and engineering businesses across the country,” said Howard Learner, Executive Director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “Modern higher-speed rail development is good for job creation, good for economic growth and good for the environment.”

The report identifies 212 companies in 32 states that manufacture transit or passenger rail cars and locomotives or major rail propulsion, electronics, and body components and systems. And major suppliers are just the tip of the iceberg. Focusing on just two rail manufacturing regions—the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic—the report identified 542 additional companies manufacturing sub-components, materials, track and infrastructure, and providing repair and remanufacturing to the industry in these states. Not included were rail subcomponent manufacturers nationwide, but a closer look at that sector would certain generate an even longer list of companies that rely on transit and passenger rail investment.

“The bottom line is that those numbers represent real people, with real jobs that support their families in communities in towns like mine,” said Jennifer Narrod, Shop Chairman of IUE-CWA Local 81323 and a worker at Alstom Signaling in Rochester, New York. “Long-term, predictable funding is essential for my job and the many other people around the country who work for companies making parts for our rail and transit systems.”

Rail and transit manufacturers are located in virtually every state, in diverse industries—from major multinationals manufacturing railcars or propulsion systems to small family-owned precision machining companies. Transit and passenger rail use specialty materials, such as steel, glass and fabrics. Maps and state lists of all 754 companies were included in the report.