From the efficiency of the urban commute to the romance of a ride through the country, our rail systems keep us moving. With just shy of 3.6 billion riders on subway trains alone each year, an aging infrastructure demands attention, and spells opportunity for investors.
Full steam ahead
From the Chicago L to the DC Metro, from the NY/NJ Path to the Portland MAX, light, high-speed, and urban rails throughout the country are expanding, upgrading, and maintaining vast rail networks. Presently, most of the companies manufacturing rail cars are located overseas; however, many are traded on the U.S. exchanges.
The House of Representatives introduced a bill calling for made-in-America rail infrastructure this past April. President Obama's plan for the FY2012 budget included $53 billion over six years for intercity rail. While the outcomes of these initiatives are uncertain, one thing remains clear: Momentum is building for nationally sourced infrastructure.
With soaring gas prices driving many drivers into ridership, a renewed commitment to revitalizing the country's transportation infrastructure, and many subway cars on systems throughout the country aging out of usefulness and safety, the train manufacturing business looks primed for growth.
From coast to coast
Back in the '70s, Boeing
Washington, D.C. is another perfect example. Last year, Metro signed a contract for 648 new subway cars, at $3 million per car. In addition to replacing aged cars, the system is adding a line westward to Dulles International Airport. Although Goodrich
A new player?
GE's newly amped-up presence will no doubt encourage other domestic manufacturers to join the competition. Add to that the sheer volume of subway systems and moving stock throughout the country, and all their required maintenance, parts, and service, and you're looking at a steady, consistent industry that is set to thrive domestically.
Want to keep an eye on the companies mentioned? Add Boeing, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Goodrich, General Electric, and Siemens AG to My Watchlist.
Never think twice about the cars on the trains near you? I challenge you to find out. Tell me your town, line, and car manufacturer in the comments below.