US Rochelle railcar factory expanding

US Rochelle railcar factory expanding : A $54 million facility will be added to the Nippon Sharyo high-speed railcar factory in Rochelle.

The expansion would create 200 construction jobs and about 80 permanent jobs while helping Nippon Sharyo fulfill orders from METRA, California’s CalTrans, and other transportation systems.

A new 327,360-square-foot building for metal fabrication and machining work will be added to the existing factory. Construction will start this spring and should be finished by Spring 2014.

“Today’s announcement means more manufacturing jobs for Illinois, and is proof that our Buy America program, requiring every rail component to be built in the U.S. by American workers, is making a difference,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. “We hope more companies will follow Nippon Sharyo’s lead expanding U.S. factories and hiring American workers to build the equipment we need for improved passenger rail, ensuring that the investments we make improve both the country’s transportation infrastructure and economy.”

Over the next five years, METRA will purchase 160 new cars worth $585 million from Nippon Sharyo. The company was also given a $352 million Federal Railroad Administration contract to manufacture 130 intercity passenger cars for Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, and California. Those cars will begin to be delivered in 2015.

“We have hired great U.S. workers to be our mechanical assemblers, electrical assemblers and quality assurance inspectors. We now expect to find more great workers in the fields of welding and machining,” Nippon Sharyo Ltd. Chairman Katsuyuki Ikushima said. “This new shop will give our plant full circle production. Material, components and workers will be from the U.S. The entire train will be made right here, and the finished product will be used in the U.S.”

Nippon Sharyo opened its Rochelle plant in July 2012.

Employees at the plant are excited for the expansion as well. Rochelle Mayor Chet Olson hopes to see more expansion in the future. According to him, over the past 5-8 years, the state has invested around $1.5 billion in capital investments.

Rochelle railcar factory

Source : wrex

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