The European Commission (EC) has launched an “in-depth” investigation into the merger of Siemens Mobility and Alstom amid concerns that the combination may adversely affect competition in the signaling and rolling stock markets.
Siemens Rail Automation
It’s official: Siemens AG and Alstom SA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding “granting exclusivity to combine mobility businesses in a merger of equals.” The combination is largely viewed as a move to remain competitive in a global market in which Chinese rolling stock manufacturers have gained considerable market share. Based on how the merged company, “Siemens Alstom,” will be structured and named, Siemens is the lead company, with 6 of 11 board members.
Supplier consolidations are nothing new in the global railway industry. The latest purported combination has German technology and engineering colossus Siemens AG acquiring Canadian firm Bombardier’s Transportation division, according to a report published Tuesday, April 11, in Toronto’s Globe and Mail. Bombardier shares jumped nearly 7% on the Toronto Stock Exchange after Bloomberg News, citing anonymous sources, originally broke the story.
On October 5 at Railway Interchange 2015, Siemens introduced RailFusion, a software solution that monitors and analyzes data points across an entire railroad’s infrastructure, including onboard and wayside assets, such as road crossings and end-of-train devices.
Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo on Friday, May 30, 2014 toured a Siemens rail automation plant in Louisville, Ky., which is producing components for new Positive Train Control (PTC) systems.
Congress and the FRA perceive PTC primarily as a safety measure to counteract human error and prevent accidents. But rail industry suppliers seek to make PTC, and CBTC too, something with far greater utility than that, as railways scramble to adopt this new technology.