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CRRC MA marks another US metro win

The first CRRC MA prototype for the MBTA – the firm’s first vehicle for a US transit agency – is loaded onto a cargo container at the Chinese port of Qingdao. (Image credit: CRRC MA/MBTA)

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has confirmed a contract with CRRC MA to supply 64 HR4000 cars for the system’s Red and Purple metro lines. The contract includes five options totalling 218 additional cars which would take the total order value to around USD647m.

CRRC MA was selected as preferred bidder for the order in December 2016, the new trains being required for the 6.3km (3.9-mile) Purple line extension from Wilshire/Western to La Cienega in 2023. As the extension will require 34 cars, the other 30 are intended to replace the oldest vehicles running on the Red line between Union Station and North Hollywood.

An LACMTA statement concluded that CRRC MA “had the highest-rated technical offer and lowest price while offering the most robust local employment program and highest US component content.”

Bodyshells will be fabricated at CRRC Changchun’s facility in China, with final assembly taking place at the 161 8000m2 site in Springfield, MA, established to fulfil a 284-car order for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. A new facility will be established in Los Angeles County to manufacture traction equipment, HVAC and lighting systems, creating around 50 jobs.

The first prototype is expected to arrive in Los Angeles in 2020 with all 64 vehicles from the base order to be delivered by September 2021.

In what marked an exceptional week for CRRC MA, the board of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has also approved a contract for 45 double-deck coaches from the manufacturer for use on its commuter rail network.
CRRC MA’s bid of USD137.5m for the base order of 45 coaches beat rival offers from Bombardier and Hyundai Rotem. The coaches are to be produced primarily at the new Springfield plant; deliveries are expected to begin in late 2019.

In other news, on 16 March CRRC Sifang America held a ground-breaking ceremony for its assembly plant in Chicago. The 35 390m2 facility’s first order is from the Chicago Transit Authority for 490 metro cars as part of a framework contract signed last year for up to 846 vehicles. The new USD100m plant will employ around 170 workers and create almost 130 additional construction jobs.

Production of the Series 7000 cars is to begin in early 2019, with entry into service for the first trains programmed for 2020.