How Federal Rules Make It Harder to Build Trains in America

April 13, 2016

By Angie Schmitt, Streetsblog USA, April 12, 2016

The Wall Street Journal‘s Bob Tita broke the news yesterday that the manufacturer of 130 new Amtrak railcars is years behind schedule, and probably won’t complete the order before the federal funding for it expires. How did this happen?Website Insert Perfect Answer copy

The 130 double decker railcars were approved for purchase in the 2008 stimulus package, destined for service in the Midwest and California. But the terms of the $352 million contract awarded to Nippon Sharyo, an American subsidiary of a Japanese rail company, made it impossible to complete on time. The company now says it won’t begin construction of the trains until 2018, when the order was supposed to be completed.

The problem can be traced to two regulations: a strict “Buy America” manufacturing requirement and the Federal Railroad Administration’s unusual safety rules.

The 2008 stimulus bill included a Buy America provision that compelled the winning bidder to build its trains “entirely in the U.S. with domestically sourced components and materials,” Tita reports.

Click here to read the full story.

 

 

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