The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) contracted with China Railway Rolling Stock Corp. to build 64 new railcars for the Metro Red and Purple Lines, a major procurement that will bring new manufacturing jobs to the Los Angeles region and help Metro maintain and expand its subway system.
Metro’s Notice To Proceed kick starts production of HR4000 heavy rail vehicles that will be used to replace existing trains now traveling between downtown Los Angeles, Mid-Wilshire District, and North Hollywood. Thirty-four of the new cars will also be used for the Metro Purple Line’s first four-mile extension from the Mid-Wilshire District to Beverly Hills when the line officially opens in 2023.
China Railway has committed to delivering the first pilot vehicle by the spring of 2020, and the entire base order of 64 subway cars by September 2021. Metro may also choose to exercise up to five options to buy an additional 218 subway cars. Combined, the base order with options is valued at $647 million, and is funded by a combination of local and federal sources, including a percentage of Measure R sales tax proceeds.
The contract also will create approximately 50 local jobs generating up to $38 million in local wages and benefits. Approximately 10% of all new jobs created will go to targeted disadvantaged workers. A new facility will be purchased in the L.A. area to manufacture major components for propulsion, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and lighting systems. Manufacturing the subway cars’ exterior shell will take place in the company’s facility in Changchun, China, and final assembly will be done in Springfield, Mass. The contract exceeds the federal government’s “Buy America” provisions, which require 60% of component parts be American-made.
In addition to future use on the Purple Line Extension, 30 new heavy rail vehicles will replace original subway vehicles that have an average life of 25 years.
In selecting China Railway Rolling Stock Corp. for the contract, Metro determined that the firm offered the overall best value proposal. The company had the highest rated technical offer and lowest price while offering the most robust Local Employment Program and highest U.S. component content. China Railway also has an excellent record for on-time vehicle delivery and quality, among other criteria. There are no U.S.-owned rail car manufacturers.