Siemens to Expand California Light-Rail Manufacturing Plant

Siemens Mobility announced that it is expanding its light-rail vehicle manufacturing plant in Sacramento, Calif., in anticipation of an increase in demand for high-speed trains and rail infrastructure.

The company said it has purchased land for plant expansion and is augmenting its power supply from renewable energy sources.

The expansion efforts come in response to the recent announcement that the Obama administration is awarding $8 billion to states across the country to develop a nationwide program of high-speed intercity passenger rail service.

"We applaud the Obama administration's commitment to building America's high-speed-rail system," said Oliver Hauck, president of Siemens Mobility in the United States. "Siemens is ready to not only bring its proven high-speed-train technology to the U.S. market, but also to build the systems right here in the United States."

To meet the future demand for high-speed-rail technology, Siemens recently completed the purchase of 20 acres of land adjacent to its existing 34-acre manufacturing facility in Sacramento. The Siemens facility in Sacramento is the only permanent light-rail vehicle manufacturing facility in the United States, according to the company. Siemens employs more than 700 people in this facility, which recently underwent a $26 million expansion.

The company also is expanding its solar energy system, doubling the capacity from 1 megawatt to 2 full megawatts, which will meet nearly all of the factory's current power needs and a portion of those required for the manufacture of high-speed trains.

Siemens makes a line of trains that run up to 220 mph, which currently are operating in Germany, China, Russia and Spain. The trains are a match for the systems proposed for California and Florida, according to the company.

Siemens also produces a line of trains that go between 110 and 125 mph, which would fit the requirements of other high-speed-rail corridors, including the Midwest, according to the company.

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