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CTA Awards Largest Railcar Contract in Its History

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) recently entered into a $1.3 billion contract with CSR Sifang America JV for 846 railcars—the largest order in the agency’s history—that also provides for construction of a $40 million railcar assembly facility in Chicago.

The facility, expected to create 170 jobs, is the first of its kind in Chicago in 35 years, according to CTA.

“Providing modern trains and buses is a critical part of having a world-class transit system,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter Jr. “This railcar purchase—the largest in CTA history—will give CTA one of the newest fleets in the United States and provide our customers with state-of-the-art trains providing comfortable, reliable rides.”

CTA will initially purchase 400 cars, with options to purchase the remainder in coming years. Prototype models are expected to be complete in 2019; following testing, the cars will go into service in 2020.

The new vehicles will offer a mix of forward-facing and aisle-facing seats, based on studies CTA conducted to solicit feedback from its riders.

CSR is one of the world’s largest railcar manufacturers, and has built more than 30,000 railcars for more than 20 countries.
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