The Chicago Transit Authority reportedly signed a $1.3 billion deal to buy hundreds of rail carriages that will be built at a plant in the city. Thursday’s deal between the city and China Railway Rolling Stock Corp (CRRC) unit, CSR Sifang America, would create around 169 jobs at an assembly plant to be setup in the city’s South Side.
CRRC will manufacture about 846 subway carriages for Chicago, replacing about half its fleet, the biggest train supply deal signed by the Chinese state-run CRRC in the U.S. The company won a contract last year to make 284 subway cars for Boston at the cost of $566 million.
CRRC called the deal a "breakthrough" for China's exports of high-end equipment. "'Made in China' trains will be landing in Chicago," it said, according to Chinese media reports. CSR
The new cars, called the 7000
The railcars are set to be delivered by 2024, with the prototype slated to be released in 2019. The purchase will drop the average age of the city’s railcars from 26 years in 2011 to 13 years when the order is delivered, and will also save $7 million in maintenance costs annually.
During the tender process for the rail carriages, CRCC beat Canada’s Bombardier by $226 billion. The city's mayor, Rahm Emanuel, said the deal would "go down in history," Agence France-Presse reported.