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Assembling the Top Rail Manufacturers

28 July 2010




Manufacturing sites and assembly lines are continuing to expand in order to meet the increasing demand. Focusing on different aspects of production at varying scales, we look at a collection of the largest manufacturing sites of railway technology around the world.


Bombardier Transportation's Manufacturing Plant, Gujarat, India

Bombardier Transport’s strategy to boost Indian railway technology manufacturing led to the company opening the Gujarat site in 2008 at a cost of $41m. Offering a wide range of products, including passenger rail vehicles, locomotives, bogies, propulsion and controls, the site created 750 new jobs dedicated to vehicle production, with an extra 2,000 jobs created indirectly based on increased activity in Bombardier’s local supplier base.

Spanning 165,000m², the site began assembly in March 2009 and achieved its first order of 424 Bombardier Movia metro cars from Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.

Its opening capacity was 24 metro cars per month, although this can be increased to 32 cars according to demand.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries' Hyogo Works, Japan

Established in 1906, Kawasaki Heavy Industries' Hyogo Works is focused on manufacturing rolling stock to meet high productivity demands.

"The Hyogo Works produce 80 cars a month."

It produces various rolling stocks such as electric trains, coaches, freight cars as well as electric and diesel locomotives.

The works supplies stock domestically and internationally to markets including the US, UK, China, South East Asia, Africa and South America for daily use.

Over 1,000 employees produce an estimated 80 cars per month.

Bombardier Transportation's Base, Goerlitz, Germany

Bombardier’s presence in Europe began in the late 1980s, but took off in 2001 with the acquisition of German company Adtranz from DaimlerChrysler, making Bombardier Transport the largest rail equipment manufacturer.

The company’s German base is one of its two principle facilities and encompasses the production of mass transit, regional and high-speed trains, as well as control systems and diesel and electric locomotives.

Kawasaki Rail Car's Manufacturing Site, Yonkers, New York, US

Kawasaki Rail Car acts as a subsidiary of Japanese manufacturing giant Kawasaki Heavy Industries, and its Yonkers plant is equipped for the complete fabrication, assembly, repair and function testing of all types of passenger rail cars.

The site is responsible for the final assembly and repair of New York City Transit Subway cars and employs an estimated figure of up to 500 staff.

Siemens' Light Railway Manufacturing Site, Sacramento, California, US

Siemens has added to its existing 34 acre site in Sacramento, California, an adjoining 20 acres in anticipation of a $26m expansion following Barack Obama’s continued support of the railway industry.

"Siemens added 20 acres to its Sacramento site."

The company employs 700 people at the Sacramento site, but this is expected to rise once the expansion is complete.

The site manufactures a line of trains that run up to 220mph, operating in Germany, China, Russia and Spain.

CorusRail, Scunthorpe, UK

Corus has invested more than £130m in developing the manufacturing capabilities of its Scunthorpe steelworks, including a new steel casting machine and an on-site Rail Service Centre. With over 100 years of experience as a supplier of railway products and services, Corus uses on-site laboratory facilities to undertake detailed materials and product testing before manufacturing rail technology.

The site provides a multitude of services, including the production of railway technology and carriages and servicing country-wide infrastructure, including light and heavy rail services, track system modelling and failure analysis.

Hitachi Rail Maintenance, Ashford, UK

"Corus invested over £130m developing its Scunthorpe steelworks."

The 10,000m² site, completed in April 2008, cost the company £52.9m and took 92 weeks to construct. Situated in Ashford, the complex boasts a 155ft-long wheel lathe shop and each track hosts its own two tonne crane, which allows the underneath inspection of stabled Javelin units.

The Javelin fleet supported at the site has since increased to 29 units, taking the value of the site's rolling stock to £260m.

Hitachi has plans to expand its UK-based manufacturing capabilities to establish additional manufacturing operations and assembly lines to support the delivery of rolling stock for the Intercity Express Programme. Hitachi envisages an additional 200 staff for more substantive manufacturing, refurbishment and lifetime support for the trains in the UK, with up to 500 staff hired to produce 30 vehicles per month during peak demand.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries' Hyogo Works, Japan.
A diesel locomotive shunting at the Corus Rail Works in Scunthorpe, England.
Product testing at Kawasaki Rail Car in Yonkers, New York, US.