April 1, 2016
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Hitachi Rail USA Opens Florida Manufacturing Facility; Miami-Dade Transit, DPW Merge

Hitachi Rail USA, the American subsidiary of Hitachi Rail Italy, recently began manufacturing railcars that will replace Miami-Dade Transit’s current Metrorail fleet at its newly opened, 140,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Medley, FL.

Hitachi expects the first vehicles in the order for 136 cars and 272 motor bogies (the structural subassembly that accommodates wheels, axles, motor and gearbox) to enter the qualification-­testing phase by the end of the year; they will begin service in late 2017. Construction of this new Hitachi production site took about six months and involved more than 50 subcontractors and suppliers, principally based in the region.

Alice Bravo, director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW), said, “We are pleased to be working with Hitachi in the production of high-tech rail cars, which will significantly improve Metrorail’s overall on-time performance. These ‘smart’ railcars will have on-board diagnostic systems, as well as free Wi-Fi and other amenities that will enhance our passengers’ experience while they save time and money when riding Metrorail.”

Miami-Dade County Mayor ­Carlos Gimenez noted that this factory is ­Hitachi Rail’s first in the U.S. “We look forward to working with Hitachi to put our residents to work, further diversify our economy and deliver cleaner, safer, more reliable and convenient mobility options to our 2.6 million residents,” he said.

Maurizio Manfellotto, CEO of Hitachi Rail Italy, said, “The opening of this new site and the launch of the new fleet represent an important step in the expansion of our company. … Hitachi Rail has a great history in the United States and this project marks the beginning of the new direction under the management of the Hitachi Group.”

In related news, Miami-Dade County recently combined its transportation and public works departments to form the DTPW, headed by Bravo. According to Gimenez, “We must do more to improve transit and mobility in our community and this reorganization is a big step in the right direction.”

The new department incorporates the functions of Miami-Dade Transit with the county engineer, traffic operations, construction and maintenance and highway planning, as well as the passenger transportation regulation function from the Regulatory and Economic Resources Department.
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