China’s railcars soon will be humming along both coasts of the United States.
In a deal worth up to $647 million, China Railway Rolling Stock Corp (CRRC), based in Beijing, is going to build 64 new railcars for the Los Angeles subway system, creating 50 jobs, according to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).
“We are helping President Trump realize his infrastructure-rebuilding plan,” said Yu Weiping, vice-president of CRRC. “It’s a win-win collaboration.”
The news coincided with CRRC’s winning $137.5 million bid to assemble 45 railcars for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA), which was announced last Thursday in Philadelphia.
Earlier this month, CRRC Sifang America broke ground in Chicago for a $100 million plant to assemble railcars for the Windy City’s transportation authority. The deal for the cars is worth $1.3 billion.
In 2015, construction began on 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 (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 railcars for Los Angeles 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 component parts will be American-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 options 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 be done in Massachusetts.
Tony Liu, assistant marketing director at CRRC’s Qingdao Sifang unit, said that the company was focused on several other US projects, including San Francisco’s transit project.
“The rolling stock market in the United States will come to another round of renewal for the existing fleet,” Liu said. “We see great potential for the market in the United States in the coming decade.”
Reuters contributed to this story.