From tracks and cross ties to rail cars and new stations, DOT is committed to making sure that America’s revived inter-city passenger rail network gets built with American hands.
And this morning, at the Next Generation Rail Supply Chain Forum in Kansas City, Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo spoke about the importance of bringing rail equipment manufacturers and suppliers together so we can make these parts in America, too--helping support even more American jobs.
The forum was held by the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a Department of Commerce partnership with DOT to help develop a robust domestic supply base to support our nation’s transportation infrastructure. It was a terrific opportunity to connect manufacturers of passenger rail and locomotives with potential suppliers so we can foster an all-American rail supply chain that produces quality goods and puts our friends and neighbors back to work.
It follows on the heels of our recent announcement inviting manufacturers across the country to submit bids to produce the first American-made, standardized passenger rail cars.
And, like all High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program projects, the rail car contract contains DOT’s strong “Buy America” provision, which requires that all transportation projects receiving federal dollars be built with American-produced steel, iron, component parts and manufactured goods. The average train car contains thousands of parts, so this contract could be good news for dozens--if not hundreds--of companies that could play a role in producing the pieces that make up these train cars.
The new uniform standards will also allow more manufacturers and suppliers to compete, fostering healthy competition and helping to reinvigorate the nation’s passenger rail equipment manufacturing base. This is a win-win for workers and for the traveling public by helping to create manufacturing jobs and supporting the American passenger rail revival.
American manufacturers and American workers are crucial to building the 21st century rail system that our country needs to remain competitive. Together with the MEP, we will continue to put people back to work while ensuring that our country has the world’s safest, fastest, and most efficient systems for moving people and goods where they need to go.