Metro, China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation hold signing ceremony for $178-million subway car contract

Conceptual renderings of the new subway cars. Source: Metro.

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) officials today joined executives from China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation Ltd. (CRRC) in a signing ceremony at the Union Station Red Line Station to launch a $178-million, 64 rail car purchase.

Coupled with up to five options to buy additional subway cars, the total value of the contract is 282 cars for $647 million. 

Of the 64 HR 4000 rail vehicles to be delivered, 30 will be used to replace existing Metro Red and Purple Line trains now traveling between downtown Los Angeles, Mid-Wilshire District and North Hollywood. The remaining  34 rail cars will be used for the Metro Purple Line’s first four-mile extension from the Mid-Wilshire District to Beverly Hills when the line officially opens in 2023. 

The rail car manufacturer has committed to delivering the first pilot rail vehicle by the spring of 2020, and the entire base order of 64 subway cars by September 2021.

The contract is funded by a combination of local and federal sources, including a percentage of Measure R sales tax revenues.

The contract will create approximately 50 local jobs generating up to $38 million in local wages and benefits.  Approximately 10 percent of all new jobs created will go to targeted disadvantaged workers.

A new facility will also be purchased in the L.A. region to manufacture major components for propulsion, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting systems. Manufacturing the subway cars’ exterior shell will take place in the company’s facility in Changchun, China, and final assembly will be done in Springfield, Massachusetts. The contract exceeds the federal government’s “Buy America” provisions, which require 60 percent of component parts be American-made. 

During the procurement process, Metro determined that CRRC offered the overall best value proposal. CRRC had the highest rated technical offer and lowest price while offering the most robust Local Employment Program and highest U.S. component content. The firm also has an excellent record for on-time vehicle delivery and quality. 

14 replies

  1. This is a joke when the U.S. had The Pullman company, St: Louis car Company, The Budd, company, American car and foundry, and the Brill company of Philadelphia P.A. And now we are buying subway ,electric M.U.s and Light rail cars from China and South Korea . It was first from Japan in the 1980s . Where we buy from next North Korea this nation of ours are OUT OF BUSINESS .

  2. I truly hope that this time Metro outfits the new subway cars with vinyl seats rather than cloth. It is extremely disappointing that the new Kinkisharyo trains are still arriving with cloth seats.

    I understand that polling of riders found that riders liked the cloth seats, but public health and sanitation should come first. BART chose to replace all of their wool seats after it was found that “fecal and skin-borne bacteria resistant to antibiotics were found in a seat,” that “further testing on the skin-borne bacteria showed characteristics of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, the drug-resistant bacterium that causes potentially lethal infections,” and that “high concentrations of at least nine bacteria strains and several types of mold were found on the seat.” Further, BART found that installation of their new vinyl seats was 58% cheaper, that they saved money on cleaning costs, and that the vinyl seats last three times longer than the old wool seats. Our neighbors to the north have already done the research for us. Why don’t we learn from their mistakes?

  3. Will these new subway cars have an open gangway to allow passengers easily move from car to car? These are popular all over Asia and Europe. It makes it safer for passengers as they can move freely between cars if they need to move away from someone. It also makes it easier to distribute passengers evenly across all the cars. And it also increases the number of passengers as passengers can stand in the open gangway.

  4. Must haves: Open gangways, bike hooks and seats that face each other for more standing space.

  5. Looking forward to riding these. And seeing if Metro can get parts for them.

  6. Good deal, although I have always liked our subway cars.

    Any update on the delivery of the light rail cars? I know Expo still has rail car shortages that affect services and I realize all the new cars have been going to the Gold Line for some time. Would be nice to have consistent 3 car trains on Expo given the large and growing ridership on that line.

    • Expo riders shouldn’t be complaining, there is actually more of a shortage on the Blue line

      • Right, because Expo riders will be thinking about this when their commutes are affected. Everyone should be complaining about rail car shortages, quality of service, cleanliness, security, all of this! It proves there is incredible demand for better Metro Rail in LA. Complain to your lawmakers and elected representatives and let them know we can do better.