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CRRC helping to upgrade US subways

By Hong Xiao in Springfield, Massachusetts | China Daily | Updated: 2017-04-08 07:38

CRRC helping to upgrade US subways
Stephanie Pollack (left), Massachusetts transportation secretary, tours a model of a new subway train with An Zhongyi, CRRC Changchun general manager, in Boston on Monday.

China Railroad Rolling Stock Corp is expanding rapidly in the United States, and local communities will benefit, officials said.

A mock-up of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's new Orange Line trains unveiled this week gives Bostonians a glimpse of what their commute will soon look like.

"I love it!" said Marcus Paker, a college student who saw it. "I used to take the Orange Line. It's much brighter and more open. It's a really nice change."

"The MBTA is the oldest subway system in America," said Brian Shortsleeve, the authority's chief administrator. The system dates to 1897.

"When we decided to upgrade and modernize our subway system eight years ago we picked CRRC, and they are doing a great job. We are really excited to modernize the subway system with these vehicles."

Jia Bo, vice-president of CRRC MA Corp, noted, "The US rail transit system is facing upgrading, and ... President Trump has emphasized strengthening infrastructure construction."

In 2014, the company won a $566.6 million contract from the MBTA to supply 152 railcars for the Orange Line and 132 for the Red Line to replace existing cars up to 38 years old. The authority then added a $277 million contract for an additional 120 Red Line cars. Contracts include such things as technical support and spare parts.

Assembly will be done by CRRC MA at its 19,000-square-meter, $95 million Springfield plant, still under construction. Production is set to start in April 2018, with cars entering service between 2019 and 2023. Officials expect to hire 150 local employees.

CRRC, the world's largest rolling stock manufacturer, has won bids to build railcars for Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority said last month that the company will build 64 subway cars with an option on another 218 cars, bringing the deal to as much as $647 million.

"The company had the highest-rated technical offer and lowest price, while offering the most robust local employment program and highest US component content," the authority said. CRRC is meeting "Buy America" requirements for 60 percent of components to be US made, it said.

The company will create a Los Angeles facility to make major components, with final assembly at the new Spring-field plant. Springfield also will assemble 45 train cars as part of the recent $137.5 million deal with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.


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