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Sorry for the late reply, was preoccupied in another thread.

Trains and railways are strongly connected, so it's better to take a system view.

There are only three all-round producers (meaning they make everything): German Siemens, French Alstom and Canadian Bombardier. Though, most of the latter's capacities are in Europe, from Britain to Poland, and most of it is former ADtranz, which itself is a more recent merger of ABB and Daimler-Benz's railway holdings, the latter chiefly AEG.

In Japan, trains were usually produced by consortia of multiple companies (like in Germany 20 years ago), they only now shift to single-hand production. But the two chief producers who lead consortia are Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Hitachi.

In North America, there is Bombardier, locomotive producers EMD (originally part of GM, now owned by equities) and as you say GE. Other large players are Greenbrier is a freight railcar giant, and Caterpillar is a producer of diesel engines that in the rail sector is a global giant, supplying locomotive factories from China to Europe.

China should also be taken into account in a few years, they already export to the Third World and now learn European technology. Big names are Datong and Sifang Locomotive Works, there are a lot of others.

Back in Europe, beyond Skoda, smaller producers of (not just) trains include Talgo in Spain, Ansaldo-Breda in Italy, and a lot of others (there are a number in Poland, but I just can't memorize their names). Transmash[elektro?] is a Russian holding. Vossloh is an upstart diesel locomotive factory in Germany (they bought an existing factory in Kiel but ran it up so well they practically became market leaders). German Knorr-Bremse is not the only but the defining company in brakes (originally for trains, now for everything). Plasser & Theurer specialise in work vehicles.

Due to the integrated nature of railways, it happened a lot of times that maintenance depots started to produce something new on their own or in cooperation with 'proper' producers. There are a lot of these around.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 02:32:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent!

The reason I ask is that train manufacture seems like something that will be somewhat profitable, oil crisis or no. A good place to put some money.

And also that I love trains and have been interested in them since forever.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 07:20:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately, train manufacture is not that profitable, due to uncertainties and usteadiness in getting orders (if a government's savings programme includes stopping orders, production can collapse). The nineties European merger mania that ended in Bombardier's European branch also involved a lot of closures. Both Siemens and Alstom's rail divisions were once near the (financial) brink in the last ten years. Here in Hungary, there was a large manufacturer called Ganz-MÁVAG (comparable to Skoda), which was bought by Hunslet of Britain upon hopes that British rail privatisation will bring them a lot of orders, but that didn't came to be, and the company is practically dead.

BTW, I add one more name to remember to the list: ROTEM of South Korea, which could even become another all-round manufacturer.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:00:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW, just for you:

SJ's new (2004) double-deck EMUs series X40. They were made by Alstom. Technology is the same as in the TER-2Nng, but the chassis (and the front design) all new: it capitalises on Sweden's wider cross-section.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:17:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I expected you to say that.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 11:36:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When it comes to diesels, the U.S. manufacturers are establishing a global presence.  EMD, which DoDo noted has been sold by General Motors, has produced the universal European heavy freight locomotive in the JT42???, better known as the "Class 66" for the British numbering system.  General Electric used its expertise in building power for Rio Grande and Southern Pacific to design the diesels for the new Chinese line into Tibet.

Both U.S. companies are working on more powerful and faster freight locomotives for export, at the request of freight train operating companies that don't want to pay for two slots for a 60 mph (100 km/h) freight train on a high speed line.

Stephen Karlson ATTITUDE is a nine letter word. BOATSPEED.

by SHKarlson (shkarlson at frontier dot com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 10:35:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"German Knorr-Bremse is not the only but the defining company in brakes (originally for trains, now for everything)."

I remember some reading about them in the economic newspaper (I was intereested once in a job by them), and an amazing fact: they were claiming a world market share

La répartie est dans l'escalier. Elle revient de suite.

by lacordaire on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 11:21:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
oops-

...of over 90% in one of their market, rails brake I believe.
Quite unusual for such a big market.

La répartie est dans l'escalier. Elle revient de suite.

by lacordaire on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 11:31:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They could be comppared to Micro$oft or Google in having produced technologies that became standardised basic platforms.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 03:53:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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