Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Crain's: CTA OKs $1B contract for train cars built on South Side by Chinese firm

At first this article said Pullman but it appears that these new rail cars expected to be seen - the prototypes at least - by the end of this decade. More jobs for the folks on the far southeast side of town. And not far hopefully from that future red line extension:
A Chinese manufacturer has won the contract to build the next generation of Chicago Transit Authority rail cars, and part of the deal calls for building the cars on the Far South Side at 135th Street and Torrence Avenue.

The CTA board today voted unanimously to award a deal worth $1.31 billion to CSR Sifang America to build up to 846 CTA train cars over the next several years.

The new cars will look similar to those that have been put into operation in the past few years, with a few tweaks. Most notably, they will have fewer center-facing seats in favor of cross-car seats. The will also have LED lighting and at least 11 security cameras per car.
CSR Sifang's bid was $226 million below that of a division of Bombardier, a Canadian firm that is the builder of the newest group of CTA cars. Parent company CSR America is owned by the Chinese government, but CTA officials stressed that the bid includes a significant "Made in America" component.

According to CTA spokesman Brian Steele, not only will the cars be assembled at a Far South Side plant but CSR has promised that at least 69 percent of all components will be made in the U.S. The operation will employ about 160 workers.

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