May 15, 2013

Kawasaki celebrates 25 years of manufacturing in N.Y.

Kawasaki Rail Car Inc. (Kawasaki) is celebrating 25 years of manufacturing railcars in Yonkers, N.Y.

During the past quarter-century, the manufacturer has sustained hundreds of jobs, while producing more than 2,500 railcars at its plant, which sits in the heart of the Northeast Corridor, only 20 minutes away from Grand Central Station.

Behind the brick walls of the historic building, Kawasaki Rail Car has made trains and component parts for a variety of transit systems; including the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's New York City Transit (NYCT), Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad; Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corp.; Connecticut Department of Transportation; Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority; and Maryland Transit Administration.

In the 1980s, Kawasaki Rail Car worked with then-Gov. Mario Cuomo to bring hundreds of jobs to New York State by establishing its base of operations in Yonkers. This was at a time when manufacturing jobs were on the decline and other large companies were shuttering their doors.

In the years since moving to Yonkers, the company has sustained hundreds of jobs at its facility and has contributed to the local and statewide tax base, in addition to having a front-row seat to the revitalization of Downtown Yonkers.

The economic implications emanating from Kawasaki's Yonkers facility are not only felt locally, but  depending on the size of the project, the company has used, on average, upwards of 100 New York-based subcontractors and suppliers, creating an economic ripple effect throughout the state.

In the 1980s, the company was a pioneer in building stainless steel subway trains, which helped combat graffiti on the New York City subways, and also worked to develop cutting-edge technology, including trains that can draw power from both overhead and third-rail based power sources.

Kawasaki is currently working on the next generation of the 7 line subway cars that will be supplied to NYCT.

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