CRRC Sifang America begins construction on $100m Chicago rail car assembly plant


China-based CRRC's US subsidiary CRRC Sifang America has started construction on a $100m plant that will build cars for Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) in the US.

CRRC secured a $1.3bn contract from CTA last year for the supply 846 new railcars, which will replace approximately half of the agency's current fleet.

The company will manufacture the railcars in Chicago as part of the agreement.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said: “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.

“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.”

The new 380,994ft² final assembly plant is set to produce CTA’s new 7000-Series rail cars and will be built by next year on the city's Southeast Side, creating more than 300 new jobs in the process.

"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."

It will assemble the CTA’s base order of 400 railcars for a total of $632m, with future options for an additional 446 railcars.

The first rail car prototypes are expected to be completed in 2019.

CRRC vice-president Sun Yongcai said: “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.”

The new rail cars include features such as AC-power propulsion and additional security cameras both inside and outside the vehicle, as well as GPS-triggered announcements and automatic passenger counting.