Nippon Sharyo Ltd. and Nippon Sharyo U.S.A., Inc. announced the expansion of its U.S. production facility in Rochelle, Ill., which started operation in June 2012. The expansion involves construction of a new building for the metal fabrication and machining production.
In the United States, when the funding for new rolling stock procurement is provided by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Buy America Requirements under 49 CFR 661 will be applied which requires that 60 percent of all components for the rolling stock to be of U.S. origin, and the final assembly of the rolling stock take place within the U.S.
However, the contract for Bi-Level Passenger Railcars (130 railcars with an option to purchase an additional 300 railcars) awarded in November 2012 by California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is funded by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), which requires so called “100 percent Buy America” under 49 U.S.C. §24405(a). In order to meet this “FRA Buy America” requirement, the expansion of Nippon Sharyo USA’s Rochelle facility is planned.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion to include a third shop was held today in Rochelle. Guest speakers included U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, and Nippon Sharyo Chairman Katsuyuki Ikushima.
“Nippon Sharyo came to Illinois because of our commitment to high-speed rail, strong transportation network and central location, all of which make our state the ideal choice for growing global companies,” Quinn said.
In the new facility, major parts and components for the car body will be manufactured using U.S. made raw material. Continuous lean production process from raw material to the complete car body under the strict production and quality control is expected to lower the overall cost.
“Today’s announcement means more manufacturing jobs for Illinois, and is proof that our Buy America program, requiring every rail component to be built in the U.S. by American workers, is making a difference,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said.
Nippon Sharyo will continuously enhance its presence and competitiveness in the North American market as the top American integrated passenger railcar manufacturer that delivers quality products to the customers’ satisfaction.