Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) voted to award CNR MA, a joint venture of China CNR Corp and CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles, a contract to supply 284 metro cars to service on Greater Boston area. The contract, with a total value of USD 556.6 million, including an option for additional 58 cars, represents CNR’s first deal in USA.
The contract with CNR MA will include the purchase of 152 new Orange Line Vehicles and 132 new Red Line vehicles to replace the 44-year old Red Line cars and 32-year old Orange Line cars. The contract also includes the option to purchase an additional 58 Red Line cars. New car features include increased capacity and additional seating, wider and electrically operated doors, four accessible areas per car, LED lighting, modern HVAC systems and advanced passenger information and announcement systems.
The design process will take approximately three years for the Orange Line cars and an additional 15 months for the Red Line. Pilot cars for the Orange Line are to be delivered in early 2018 and the Red Line pilot cars will be delivered about a year later. Delivery of production cars will occur at a rate of approximately four cars per month between winter 2018 and winter 2021 for the Orange Line and between fall 2019 and spring 2021 for the Red Line.
CNR MA intends to build a new manufacturing facility for final assembly of the Red and Orange Line Vehicles in Springfield. This facility will serve as CNR MA’s US Headquarters. CNR MA plans to build a facility that includes over 150,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space. The facility will also include a dynamic test track, which will enable testing prior to shipment of the vehicles to the MBTA. CNR MA plans to invest USD 60 million of its own resources into the facility. CNR MA estimates the new facility will create more than 150 new manufacturing jobs and 100 new construction jobs. Construction of the new plant is expected to begin in the fall of 2015.
The Request for Proposals was released a year ago, and Bombardier, CAF, CNR MA, CSR Qingdao Sifang, Hyundai Rotem and Kawasaki Rail Car submitted proposals. Of the six proposals, four of them met the minimum requirements and were rated on criteria ranging from technical and manufacturing experience, past performance, quality assurance, and price. CNR MA submitted the lowest bid at USD 556.6 million.
The acquisition is part of the total project budget of approximately USD 1.3 billion, and includes the funds necessary to expand and improve the MBTA’s rail car maintenance and storage facilities in Medford and Boston. Made possible by the passage of the Transportation Finance Law last year, the Orange and Red Line car procurement project is funded entirely by State Transportation Bond Funds.