The Northwest Industrial Resource Center (www.nwirc.org) will sponsor a Next Generation Rail Supply Chain Forum at Clarion University on Wednesday, October 24, 2012. The objective of the Forum is to attract small and mid-size U.S. manufacturers to the supply base for next generation rail equipment. The day-long Forum will include presentations from the Department of Transportation and the Department of Commerce, panel discussions, and “speed networking” sessions designed to facilitate connections between interested manufacturers, OEMs, and Tier 1 and 2 suppliers.
In 2008, The Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) was enacted for the purpose of creating high-speed, inter-city rail lines in order to relieve congestion, reduce dependency on foreign oil, and spur economic growth. As part of the proposed expansion of the commuter rail and rail transit markets, a Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued for the purchase of 130 new passenger rail cars. Importantly, the RFP included a 100% domestic component content requirement. Before the end of 2012, another major procurement is anticipated for 35 diesel locomotives with a similar 100% domestic content target. The Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, and the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology have partnered to develop the domestic supply chain.
According to Bob Bengel, President and CEO of the NWIRC, “The 100% “Buy America” requirement has created significant domestic rail supply chain opportunities, and the Next Generation Supply Chain Forum is an excellent way for manufacturers in northwest Pennsylvania to learn more about these opportunities as well as to meet one-on-one with prominent rail car and locomotive OEMs and Tier 1 and 2 suppliers.”
OEMs and Tier 1 and 2 suppliers participating in the Forum include: GE Transportation, Siemens Industry, Nippon Sharyo, Electro Motive Diesels, Brookville Equipment, Sumitomo Corporation of America, Wabtec Transit Group, and Faiveley Transport.