China-based CRRC Sifang America started construction on a new $100 million rail car assembly facility on the Southeast Side of Chicago, Illinois. The facility will assemble the Chicago Transit Authority’s newest rail cars, the 7000-series, and create more than 300 skilled factory and new construction jobs.
The 380,994-square-foot facility, paid for entirely by CRRC, will employ at least 169 factory and warehouse workers, as well as support approximately 200 construction jobs to build the facility. Approximately $7 million will be spent on training for their Chicago final assembly facility workforce.
According to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Office, “the new CRRC Sifang America facility will mark the first time in more than 50 years that CTA rail cars have been produced in Chicago, the latest example of how investment in the CTA promotes economic development and creates employment opportunities for Chicagoans.”
“This new facility represents a major investment in Chicago that will bring economic opportunities to the Southeast Side, while creating good-paying jobs for hundreds of workers,” Mayor Emanuel said. “The rail cars that emerge from this facility will be the latest step we’ve taken to invest in world-class transportation, and to create a 21st Century transit system.”
As part of CTA’s ongoing modernization efforts, the agency last year awarded a manufacturing contract to CRRC’s U.S. subsidiary, CRRC Sifang America, to build up to 846 new rail cars. The CTA’s first order of 400 rail cars will be assembled at the new facility and will replace CTA’s oldest railcars, which are more than 30 years old.
“CRRC Sifang America is grateful for the opportunity to work with the Chicago Transit Authority to produce the next generation of railcars in Chicago, for Chicago,” said CRRC Corporation Vice President Sun Yongcai, who also serves as a member of the CRRC standing committee. “We are committed to producing top-of-the- line railcars to enhance CTA rider experience, while also creating new jobs at our assembly facility in the city. We are confident CRRC Sifang America’s partnerships in Chicago will make this project a success for us and for the city.”
“We are committed to providing our customers with more reliable and comfortable transportation for decades to come,” CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. said. “We are continuing our investments in new buses and trains that will improve commutes, lower maintenance costs and provide a more pleasant customer experience.”
The new facility, expected to be complete in spring 2018, will assemble the CTA’s base order of 400 railcars for a total of $632 million or $1.58 million per car, with future options for an additional 446 railcars. These 7000-series vehicles are the first railcars purchased by CTA in more than a decade since 2006, when the 5000-series contract was awarded to Bombardier. The first rail car prototypes are expected to be completed in 2019.