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MassDOT Board Approves Deal To Build Subway Cars In Springfield

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The MassDOT board of directors voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a $566 million contract with a Chinese company to build new subway cars in Springfield.

CNR Changchun, the world’s largest maker of transit railcars, submitted the lowest of six bids to build 248 new subway cars to replace decades- old vehicles on the MBTA’s Red and Orange lines.  The company will build a new $50 million factory in Springfield.  MassDOT head Richard Davey said the deal is about getting people to work in Boston and putting people to work in Springfield.

" It is the proverbial 'win-win'," said Davey. " Good for the west and good for the east."

The deal is forecast to create 250 new construction and manufacturing jobs in Springfield.  A CNR spokesperson said Springfield would be the base for the company’s North American business.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.