Siemens Brings Trams to America

EU giant starts US plant, takes 200 rail orders from congested cities
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2008 8:34 PM CST
Peter Loescher, left, CEO of German industrial conglomerate Siemens, left, stands next to CFO Joe Kaeser while answering a question during a press conference prior to the company's annual shareholders...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Siemens is importing eco-friendly trams and light-rail transport to gas-guzzling America, Der Spiegel reports. The conglomerate has been making them in Sacramento for 2 years, and is seeing a brisk increase in demand from the almost 30 tram-loving US cities. The California plant has 200 orders already and expects more when another 50 US cities finish building new rail lines.

Siemens is betting that carbon emissions and chronic road congestion—which cost the US economy $78 billion last year in lost fuel and working hours—will help sway Americans away from cars. Siemens is also forging boxier cars that can withstand crashes with thick-skinned American trucks and SUVs.