Photographer: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Chicago Hands China $1.3 Billion Order for New Urban Train Cars

  • CSR Sifang pledged to build rail car assembly plant in Chicago
  • Deal is only China's second in the U.S. after Boston in 2014

Chicago’s transport authorities handed a $1.3 billion rail cars contract for the city’s "L" urban rail system to a unit of China’s CRRC Corp., the company’s second deal in the U.S. in 18 months.

The order is for 846 7000-series rail cars from CSR Sifang America JV, which submitted the lowest bid, Chicago Transport Authority said in a statement on its website Thursday. Prototypes for an initial order for 400 train cars are due in 2019 and expected to go into a service a year later after tests. As part of its winning bid, CSR Sifang will also invest $40 million to build a rail assembly facility in Chicago.

The deal is China’s second in the U.S., following the one China CNR Corp. won in October 2014 worth $567 million to supply trains for Boston’s subway system.

CNR and CSR Corp. subsequently merged last year to form CRRC Corp. in a bid to achieve greater economies of scale and compete more effectively in the global market. China Premier Li Keqiang is leading an overseas push by Chinese train equipment makers as part of a broader strategy to turn China into an advanced industrialized nation.

— With assistance by Clement Tan

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