USA: Chicago Transit Authority Orders Rail Cars

Image courtesy of Chicago Transit Authority

The Chicago Transit Board have contracted to buy the next generation of CTA rail cars from CSR Sifang America. The contract will create 170 jobs at a purpose-built $40million faculty in Chicago.

The 400 7000-Series Rail Cars will be manufactured by CSR Sifang America JV at the first new rolling stock manufacturing plant to be built in the city for 35 years.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said:

“With this agreement, CTA riders will get state-of-the-art rail cars and Chicago returns to our roots as the place where the next generation of rail cars are built, providing good jobs for our residents. That is a classic win-win for Chicago. This historic agreement was the result of strong collaboration between the City, our federal partners, the Chicago Federation of Labor, and Jobs to Move America, and I cannot thank them enough for their partnership in making it possible. Working together we will continue to bring more 21st century manufacturing jobs to Chicago while also building a modern CTA to help power our 21st century economy.”

CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr said:

“Providing modern trains and buses is a critical part of having a world-class transit system. This rail car purchase—the largest in CTA history—will give CTA one of the newest fleets in the United States and provide our customers with state-of-the-art trains providing comfortable, reliable rides.”

When the contract was put to tender, a clause specified a “U.S. Employment” provision, outlining potential recruitment and training programmes. The CSR, a leading international manufacturer of railcars, won the contract with the lowest bid of $1.3billion to provide a potential total of 846 railcars (an option to purchase the remaining 446 railcars exists in the contract).

The cars themselves are based on the 5000-Series, featuring stainless steel bodies, LED lighting and signage and AC power propulsion. The new fleet will be delivered in 2019 to begin operating passenger services in 2020.

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