An examination of the 2017 financial results for the biggest suppliers shows that CRRC, China, is still the dominant player with annual revenue of $US 32.5bn. Siemens’ Mobility Division holds onto second place with annual revenue of $US 9.55bn followed by Alstom on $US 9.37bn, with Bombardier Transportation in fourth place on $US 8.5bn.

GE Transportation and Wabtec have combined annual revenue of $US 7.8bn, split equally between the two organisations, which will propel them into fifth position, but the merged company will move into fourth place when the Siemens-Alstom merger takes effect later this year.

These major players are in a different league from other railway equipment suppliers, namely Hitachi and Caterpillar, which have annual revenues around half that of Bombardier.

Unlike CRRC, but in common with Siemens, Alstom and Bombardier, the merged GE Transportation-Wabtec company will be a true international player with operations in 50 countries. The major difference though is that GE Transportation-Wabtec does not build passenger trains, focussing instead on locomotives, rail vehicle components and systems, as well as train control.

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