Capitol Hill Deal Keeps Springfield's CRRC Rail Car Factory Rolling
A defense spending bill passed by the U.S. House includes language granting a reprieve to a Chinese-owned rail car factory in Springfield.
There was a push by some lawmakers on Capitol Hill to ban the use of taxpayer funds on public transit rail cars that are made by Chinese entities.
But a compromise will allow CRRC to continue bidding on projects for current clients, and will give the company two years to bring in additional customers.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno called this part of the legislation a victory for his city.
"The original legislation would have literally cut us off at our knees," Sarno said. "It made no sense and you would have lost nearly 200 jobs, good paying manufacturing jobs, here in Springfield."
Sarno credits Massachusetts U.S. Representative Richard Neal for helping to strike the deal.
In a statement, Neal said the deal will allow workers to continue making cars for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's (MBTA) Red and Orange Lines without interruption.
"These rail cars are being built for Massachusetts residents, by Massachusetts residents, at a competitive wage, with negotiated health and retirement benefits," Neal said. "This employer is important to Springfield and the region.”
In addition to the MBTA, the Springfield CRRC factory also currently has contracts to build trains for public transportation systems in Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
The bill now moves on to the Senate.