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US made concessions to CRRC to speed up metro train contract for Boston

9 April 2024
Reading time ~ 2 min
Production of trains for the Boston Metro Orange Line at CRRC's Springfield plant
Production of trains for the Boston Metro Orange Line at CRRC's Springfield plant. Source: CRRC
Savenkova Ekaterina, Editorial Contributor to International Projects of ROLLINGSTOCK Agency
Reading time ~ 2 min
Stolchnev Alexey, Russian Projects Editor, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency

USA: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and the Chinese manufacturer have entered into a supplemental agreement for two contracts for the delivery of 404 metro cars.

MBTA will pay CRRC another $95 mln to cover increased cost of components to be purchased. Additionally, $55 mln will be paid to offset tariffs on imported Chinese goods and parts delivery, and $10 million as a bonus for accelerating order fulfilment. If CRRC delivers all trains by the end of 2027, MBTA will waive $38 mln in delay penalties.

CRRC may carry out some of the electrical work in China as per the agreement, while the Springfield plant, where the final assembly of cars is organised, will not be impacted, as confirmed by Jeffrey Cook, MBTA Chief Procurement and Contracts Administration Officer. Furthermore, MBTA now has an option to purchase the site if CRRC wishes to do so. It should be taken into account that the US government banned funding for rolling stock purchases from Chinese manufacturers since the beginning of 2020 due to cybersecurity threats.

Thanks to the new agreement, MBTA will receive the last car much earlier than expected, as explained by Philip Eng, its CEO. Otherwise, the authority had to wait until 2029 at the earliest. Cancelling the contract was considered, but ultimately it was decided that the new deal with the same company would be the most efficient option.

According to the contracts, all rolling stock was due to be delivered last year. However, only 130 were delivered and several trains were temporarily taken out of service due to faulty doors and running gear. Philip Eng also notes that the quality of the assembly has significantly improved over the past year.

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