Nippon Sharyo Manufacturing, LLC built its first rail-car manufacturing plant in Rochelle, Ill., that included Shop 1 and Shop 2, hired 400 workers and rolled out its first rail car, the Gallery-type EMU for Metra in 2012. In April 2013 Nippon broke ground to build Shop 3, expanding its operation to metal fabrication and machining production in Illinois and fulfilling the requirements to the Federal Railroad Administrations “Buy America” program. Today, Gov. Quinn joined Nippon officials to open their new $100 million Shop 3 facility, the new facility will add an additional 90 manufacturing jobs. As part of the federal government's “Buy America” Nippon Sharyo manufacturing will utilize locally sourced products and services in building rail-cars that are 100% American-made, and ramped up production through 2018.
Nippon's Shop 3 was added to meet the contract demand for Bi-Level Passenger Rail-cars to operate on high-speed rail lines across the United States. The Federal Railroad Administration funded the purchase of 130 rail-cars with an option for an additional 300. The procurement of these high speed passenger cars and a separate procurement of high speed locomotives is being overseen by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) on behalf of the federal government. Of the 130 bi-level rail-cars, 88 will go to Illinois and 42 to California.
In November 2012, Nippon Sharyo was awarded the contract for the 130 high-speed bi-level passenger rail cars with its bid of $352 million, which was well below the procurement estimates, the contract also has the option to purchase an additional 300 rail cars for $898 million, bringing the contract total to $1.25 billion. The first cars are scheduled to be delivered in late 2015, with the final cars to be delivered in early 2018. The new Bi-Level rail-cars will become the standard for the coming generation of passenger rail-cars.