Chinese train builder CRRC has broken ground on a $95 million manufacturing site, its first in North America, in Massachusetts.
The facility in Springfield will initially support the delivery of new subway cars for Boston’s Orange and Red lines – a contract that was awarded to China’s state-owned manufacturer CNR – but will also help CRRC pursue further contracts in the US.
Due to be completed by the end of 2017, the facility will create more than 100 construction jobs and around 150 positions once open.
Although the body shells will be manufactured in China, the majority of the assembly will be done in the US using domestic suppliers.
In June, CNR and CSR merged to create CRRC. The company’s vice president Weiping Yu said: “We have an exciting road ahead as we embrace this unique opportunity to partner with Massachusetts on our first transportation project in the United States.
“We look forward to the success of this project and enhancing our vision of building further partnerships in the transportation sector.”
The $566 million contract includes 152 new Orange Line vehicles and 132 new Red Line vehicles, which will be manufactured in China before being reassembled in Springfield.
“These new cars will replace Orange Line and Red Line cars that are more than 30 years old, and create needed manufacturing jobs,” said Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) general manager Frank DePaola.
“It’s a major investment in the future of public transportation in Greater Boston, as well as a sizeable investment in the Western Massachusetts regional economy.”
Construction will being early next year. The first cars are scheduled to leave the production line in January, 2019.