A contract involving an Illinois factory is being touted by the governor. Nippon Sharyo in Rochelle has been awarded a $352 million contract from the California Department of Transportation. The contract will allow the rail car manufacturing company to build 130 passenger rail cars that will be delivered throughout the Midwest and California starting in 2015.
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“Illinois is committed to building a high-speed, 21st-Century rail system and leading the nation in rail equipment manufacturing,” Gov. Pat Quinn said at the announcement in Rochelle. “By working together with other states, the federal government and outstanding Illinois-based companies like Nippon Sharyo, we can put people back to work and advance Illinois’ role as one of the nation’s top transportation hubs.”
The awarding of the contract from a joint procurement between IDOT and Caltrans is the final step in a multi-state procurement that will also see new rail cars delivered to Michigan and Missouri. California will buy 42 rail cars and the Midwest coalition will buy 88 rail cars, which will operate out of Amtrak’s Chicago hub.
The new cars are designed for operation at speeds up to 125 mph and equipped to deal with weather extremes throughout the country. The stainless steel car body is designed to provide a longer usable life with reduced maintenance requirements and will include amenities such as Wi-Fi, increased space between seats in all classes of service, and visual and audible announcement systems.
In addition, it will exceed current ADA requirements. The bi-level design of the new cars will increase capacity of Chicago “Hub” trains significantly over existing trains – up to 90 people per coach.