Alstom Transport Applauds Obama Administration's Actions to Fund High Speed Rail

Jan 28, 2010, 14:10 ET from Alstom

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Officials of Alstom Transport, a world leader in high-speed rail, today applauded the Obama Administration on its plans to make a significant investment in high-speed rail.  The Administration has announced a series of federal grants to support high-speed rail projects around the country.

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Alstom Transport President Philippe Mellier said, “High speed rail can make a significant contribution in creating jobs, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing dependence on foreign oil.  The United States has a large number of major cities separated by less than 500 miles, trips that could be made in a quicker, cheaper, and cleaner manner via high speed rail.”

Roelof van Ark, the President of Alstom Transport in North America, said, “Alstom already has a significant presence in the U.S., and we are pleased to see the Administration focusing on the potential of high speed rail projects to create jobs and related economic development benefits in the U.S.”  Mr. van Ark noted that Alstom Transport operates the largest train manufacturing plant in the US, a state of the art installation in Hornell NY.  Alstom Transport’s U.S. operations account for approximately 13 percent of the company’s total annual revenues, another sign of the importance of the U.S. market to Alstom.

Alstom Transport builds the fastest trains in the world, and has an impeccable service and safety record with these trains. In 2007 the company broke the world high-speed rail record at 357 miles/hour and its trains have the capacity to routinely travel at 225 mph and above.  Alstom Transport has 30 years of experience with high-speed rail, having built and maintained the TGV that has been widely used across Europe for decades, and more recently has rolled out its AGV trains that have distributed propulsion systems. Since 1981, Alstom has sold 670 very high-speed trains.  Alstom very high-speed trains are already operating in France, Spain, UK, Korea, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands.  Over 1.7 billion Very High Speed customer trips have been safely undertaken in Alstom trains over a total distance equivalent to the distance between the earth and the moon.

Mr. van Ark said, “Alstom Transport stands ready to bring its extensive experience in high-speed rail to bear on the challenges in the U.S.  Our high-speed trains have 30 years of safe and reliable operating experience, lower energy costs than our competitors, and numerous positive environmental attributes.”

Alstom is a global leader in the world of power generation and rail infrastructure and sets the benchmark for innovative and environmentally friendly technologies. Alstom builds the fastest train and the highest capacity automated metro in the world, and provides turnkey integrated power plant solutions and associated services for a wide variety of energy sources, including hydro, nuclear, gas, coal and wind. The Group employs 81,500 people in 70 countries, and had orders of 24,6 billion euros in 2008/09.