Governor Charlie Baker and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, on Dec. 18, were joined by MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack, MBTA Interim General Manager Jeffrey Gonneville, and CRRC MA Chairman & President Jia Bo, at CRRC MA’s manufacturing facility to mark the on-time completion of the first pair of Orange Line vehicles, a significant milestone in the delivery of new subway cars to the MBTA.
“Since taking office, our administration has prioritized improving the core infrastructure of the T and over the next five years, the T is planning to invest $8 billion to continue these efforts,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “By completely replacing the fleets of the Orange and Red lines, and significantly upgrading signals, the T will improve reliability for riders, and we are proud to celebrate the delivery of the first new Orange Line cars today.”
“Another good historic day for our Springfield – bringing back manufacturing and ‘boy, I know Governor Baker and the MBTA are happy, they can’t be made quick enough!’ I deeply appreciate CRRC’s and Governor Baker’s continued belief and investment in our Springfield. Also, my congratulations to new CRRC MA Chairman & President Jia Bo – continued success,” said Mayor Domenic J. Sarno.
CRRC MA is underway with manufacturing 404 subway cars for the MBTA, including 152 new Orange Line and 252 Red Line vehicles. Located in Springfield, CRRC MA employs approximately 200 people, making its facility a major North American manufacturing hub. CRRC MA’s workforce receives instruction and training on state-of-the-art tools and equipment necessary to build the next generation of new rail cars.
“We’re pleased that this milestone has been reached for these new subway cars,” said MassDOT Secretary Pollack. “A major focus to improve service has been to accelerate the pace of spending on the core infrastructure and our spending will be continuing at an aggressive pace. The Baker-Polito administration is spending a total of $8 billion during the next five fiscal years which began this past July, most of it on state-of-good-repair and reliability-improvement projects that will significantly improve our riders’ experience.”
“Our pride is strong as we deliver on-time to America’s first transit system CRRC’s first subway cars built in the United States by talented workers standing with us today,” said CRRC MA Chairman and President Jia Bo. “We have taken the importance of transportation in the region as a path to introduce local rail car manufacturing where hundreds of jobs have been created stimulating the local economy. Our achievements prove the existence of well-nourished partnerships born from mutual cooperation and respect. We look forward to building CRRC’s presence in the United States using our journey here in Massachusetts as the footprint to success.”
“The production of new rail cars based on state-of-the-art designs gives the Authority the opportunity to bring the MBTA into a new era of service reliability that our customers deserve,” said Interim General Manager Gonneville. “While we acknowledge we still have a ways to go before our fleets are completely replaced, today marks the start of that process that will lead to major improvements for our customers.”
All production vehicles will be assembled and tested in the CRRC MA Rail Car Assembly Facility. The vehicles for the MBTA are representative of all the modern workmanship, materials, and technologies that form the basis of the design standards for modern day heavy rail vehicles. The safety and customer amenities include stainless steel vehicles car shells that incorporate laser-welding technology for better exterior finish, crash energy management for enhanced customer and operator safety, LCD monitors for customer information, and train to wayside communications via a wireless network for monitoring and detection of potential maintenance needs. All production vehicles will be manufactured and tested in the CRRC MA Rail Car Assembly Facility.
The new vehicles incorporate designs that accommodate improved passenger comfort, new technology that provides important customer-facing information, and cutting-edge accessibility features, such as platform gap mitigation devices.