Rochelle rail-car plant loses $352 million Amtrak contract to California

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 06:38:18 AM. The original contract, announced in 2012 by Gov. Pat Quinn, called for production of 130 rail cars. But no usable train cars were delivered, officials say.
A Japanese rail-car maker with a manufacturing plant in Rochelle has lost a lucrative contract to build high-speed passenger trains after years of safety problems, technical failures and layoffs. Nippon Sharyo lost the contract from the California Department of Transportation, originally valued at $352 million, to Sumitomo Corporation of Americas and , the department said. Although led by California, the contract involved the participation of multiple states, which were able to acquire modern cars at a lower price by banding together. The original contract was announced in November 2012 by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and called for the production of 130 passenger rail cars. California agreed to buy 42 and 88 were set to go to the Midwest for Amtrak service to and from Chicago, Detroit and St. Louis. The contract was touted as the spark that would bring high-speed rail cars to the Midwest and California, allowing locomotives to travel up to 125 miles per hour. Nippon Sharyo opened a new U.S. headquarters and the $35 million passenger rail car facility in Illinois in July 2012 with over $10 million in state and local investment and incentives, including tax credits and infrastructure improvements. The Rochelle plant, which also produces Metra rail cars, is about 80 miles west of Chicago, and the company also maintains an office in . Failed safety tests for the double-decker Amtrak rail cars led to significant production delays, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration...Read more
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