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Gov. Baker, MassDOT/MBTA Leaders Mark Milestone in Springfield Rail Car Factory Construction

Posted on August 26, 2016

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MassDOT Press Office: 857-368-8500

SPRINGFIELD - Governor Charlie Baker today joined local elected officials and state transportation leaders to recognize a major milestone in CRRC MA's construction of its $95 million factory in Springfield by signing the last beam to be hoisted atop the factory as part of a "Topping Off" ceremony. Once completed, the factory will manufacture 284 subway cars for the MBTA: 132 for the Red Line, and 152 for the Orange Line.

"Replacing cars nearly four decades old will help deliver a more reliable and comfortable rider experience," said Governor Baker. "We remain focused on investing in the core infrastructure at the T to improve our transit system that so many people rely on and we are pleased to celebrate this that also creates local jobs and supports Springfield's economy."

"This facility will have multiple benefits to all sectors of Massachusetts' economy, from new manufacturing jobs in Springfield to service improvements for the riders who rely on the MBTA to get to and from where they need to be every day," said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito

"The T has needed these cars for decades now," MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack said of the MBTA's aging fleet of Orange Line and Red Line vehicles. "Relying on old equipment makes it harder to bounce back from incidents of severe weather."

"It is a great pleasure to be here today for the opening of this state-of-the-art factory, which will be assembling state-of-the-art vehicles for the MBTA's Red Line and Orange Line," said MBTA General Manager Brian Shortsleeve. "Replacing old rail cars is part of a comprehensive plan to improve the Red and Orange Lines that include improvements to aging tracks, signals, and other infrastructure, with the goal of providing a first-class transit system that meets the needs of our customers."

"Topping Off" is the term used by ironworkers to indicate that the final piece of steel is being hoisted into place on a building, bridge, or other large structure, and in this case the factory has now reached its maximum height. As part of the ceremony, Governor Baker will lead officials in the signing of the last beam to be hoisted atop the facility, signifying the completion of a significant portion of its construction.

Construction of the factory is running ahead of schedule, with other projects including a 2,240-foot dynamic test track, and staging/storage area. The project is projected to be completed in the fall of 2017.

"We are very appreciative of the largest railway car manufacturing company in the world, CRRC, building their North American base right here in Springfield," said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. "The creation of hundreds of good paying jobs, the spin-off benefits to our vendors, the linkage to our students at Putnam Vocational Technical Academy, Western New England University and the use of our labor unions' workforce spreads the wealth. Also, I'm very thankful to Governor Baker, state and city officials for their continued belief and investment in our Springfield."

Once completed, the 204,000-square-foot factory will employ 150 workers. The first cars are scheduled to be delivered in 2018.

Alan Sparn, Project Executive for Plaza Construction stated, "Plaza Construction is proud to partner with CRRC to construct this state of the art facility. Working with CRRC, Plaza's Design-Build approach expedited project permitting, design and the award of key construction activities, allowing us to mobilize construction two months early. Our estimating team also worked closely with CRRC, the design team, and subcontractors to ensure that costs were held within CRRC's budget. This Design-Build expertise will allow us to deliver a high quality project within budget and ahead of schedule."

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