As part of the Chicago Transit Authority's ongoing modernization, the city broke ground on a new $100 million facility on the Southeast Side of Chicago that will build new CTA rail cars and create more than the 300 skilled factory and construction jobs.
This marks the first time in more than 50 years that CTA rail cars have been produced in Chicago, according to a statement from Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
"I'm proud to say that 36 years after the last rail car rolled out of the Pullman factory, rail cars will once again be union-made on Chicago's Southside," said Jorge Ramirez, President of the Chicago Federation of Labor in a statement.
The CTA awarded a manufacturing contract to CCRC Sifang America for 846 new 7000-series rail cars, the mayor's office said. The first order of 400 rail cars will be assembled at the new facility and will replace rail cars that are more than 30 years old.
The first order of 400 will cost $632 million, or $1.58 million per car, with plans for an additional 446 cars, the mayor's office said.
The new rail cars will include AC-power propulsion, additional security cameras on the inside and outside of cars, GPS-triggered announcements and automatic counting to help with service planning, the mayor's office said.
The 380,994-square-foot facility, paid for by CRRC, will employ 169 factory workers as well as support 200 construction jobs needed to build the facility, according to the mayor's office. Approximately $7 million will be spent on training for the facility workforce.
Working with CRRC Sifang America and the Unions on this project are JMA, Calumet Area Industrial Commission and City Colleges of Chicago.
The new facility is expected to be complete in spring of 2018. Since 2011, the CTA has been involved with more than $8 billion in projects to upgrade the bus and rail system.