CRRC bonanza as railcars to supply US rail systems

By Hezi Jiang in New York | China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-29 07:44

CRRC bonanza as railcars to supply US rail systems

Technicians adjust parts in a metro train in an assembly plant in one of CRRC's subsidiaries-CRRC Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co-in Zhuzhou, Hunan province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chinese rolling stock producer lands contracts across the nation

Chinese railcars will soon be humming along both coasts of the United States, after Beijing-headquartered China Railway Rolling Stock Corp signed deals with various US transport authorities.

"We are helping President Donald Trump realize his infrastructure-rebuilding plan," said Yu Weiping, vice-president of CRRC. "It's win-win cooperation."

In a deal worth up to $647 million, CRRC will build 64 new railcars for the Los Angeles subway system, creating 50 local jobs, according to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The news coincided with CRRC winning a $137.5 million bid to assemble 45 railcars for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority, which was announced on Thursday in Philadelphia.

Earlier this month, CRRC Sifang America broke ground in Chicago for a $100 million plant to assemble railcars for the city's transportation authority. The deal is worth $1.3 billion.

In 2015, CRRC began construction of a $95 million plant in Springfield, Massachusetts, to build railcars for Boston's transit authority, in a contract worth $547 million.

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with (the LA Metro) to design and build a state-of-the-art vehicle for Los Angeles," said Jia Bo, vice-president for CRRC in Massachusetts, where the metro railcars will be assembled.

CRRC is planning a facility in the Los Angeles area to manufacture major components for propulsion, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting systems for the cars, creating 50 local jobs. More than 60 percent of the component parts will be US-made.

"We will continue to engage the community and partner with organizations and institutions to stimulate the local economy through education, training and job creation," Jia said.

CRRC has committed to delivering the first pilot vehicle by the spring of 2020, and the entire base order of 64 subway cars by September 2021.

LA Metro also has the option to buy an additional 218 subway cars. The base order with options is valued at $647 million.

The metro cars' exteriors will be manufactured in one of CRRC's factories in Northeast China, while the final assembly will take place in Massachusetts.

Tony Liu, assistant marketing director at CRRC's Qingdao Sifang unit, said that the company remained focused on several US projects, including a San Francisco transit project.

"The rolling stock market in the US will come to another round of renewal for the existing fleet," Liu said. "We see great potential for the market in the US in the coming decade."

Reuters contributed to this story.

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