China's CRRC lands $1.3 billion Chicago rail car project

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s CRRC Corp said it has won its second major contract in the United States after the Chicago transport authority accepted its $1.3 billion bid to build rail cars for the city.

“This is the largest subway car project that a Chinese railway equipment company has received from a developed country to date. ‘Made in China’ rail is set to land in the United States’ Chicago,” the company said in an e-mailed statement.

Encouraged by Beijing, China’s railway firms are aggressively bidding for contracts in overseas markets but have so far been successful mostly in developing markets. Chinese firms have also expressed interest in building high-speed rail lines in California and Nevada.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) said on Wednesday that it had awarded the order to build 846 7000-series rail cars to CRRC subsidiary CSR Sifang America, which had submitted the lowest bid. It did not name the other bidders.

The company, formed from the merger of former rivals CNR Corp and China CSR, won its first U.S. contract in 2014 when CNR was awarded a $567 million deal to supply subway trains to Boston.

Chicago will first place a base order of 400 cars, with options to buy the remainder in the coming years, the CTA said. CSR will build a new $40 million factory in the city, with the aim of seeing the first cars going into service in 2020.

Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Stephen Coates and Edwina Gibbs