Stadler expands with Texas rail-car order

Stadler expands with Texas rail-car order
Stadler, the Swiss-based train manufacturer, is expanding in the United States after securing a 100-million-franc ($107-million) order to supply rail cars for a commuter line in Fort Worth, Texas.

TEX Rail announced this week it was buying eight diesel-powered rail cars from the company based in the canton of Thurgau for its 43-kilometre rail line to link downtown Fort Worth with the Dallas-Fort Worth airport by the end of 2018.

Because government funding is involved in the purchase of the rail cars, including backing from the US Federal Transit Administration, Stadler is obliged to comply with Buy America laws that require more than 60 percent of the cost of rail car components to be built in the US.

The deal includes an option to acquire 24 additional trains.

Stadler has already sold trains to two other transportation systems in Texas.

Peter Spuhler, Stadler’s CEO and majority shareholder, said the company was considering opening a manufacturing plant in Lewisville, Texas, to build the FLIRT (Fast Light Innovative Regional Train) cars, the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram reported.

So far the company has sold 49 rail rail cars through five contracts in the US, the ATS news agency said.

Stadler Rail is a major supplier of trains to Swiss federal Railways and other rail operators in Switzerland with four plants in the country, employing 3,000 people.

But it does significant business throughout Europe through subsidiaries in Austria, Belarus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Poland.

It also has a maintenance division in Algeria after selling 64 FLIRTs to the Algerian National Railway.

Overall, it employs more than 6,000 people at 12 locations.

The privately held company does not publish an annual report but, according to its website, its sales reached 2.5 billion francs in 2013.

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