Railcar maker to open $70 million plant for Washington subway subway cars

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Railcar manufacturer and service provider adds new plant near US capital. Hitachi Rail – a business unit of Tokyo-based industrial and technology conglomerate Hitachi – announced on March 21 that it has chosen Washington County, Maryland, as the site of a new $70 million plant that will build railcars for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

The 307,000 square foot facility will serve as a major hub for Hitachi’s railcar business in the United States, supplying new railcars for the Washington, DC metro area. It will also be able to support the entire North American rail market.

Hitachi did not specify the facility’s location in Washington County, but said the plant would deliver finished railcars to the Transit Authority’s Greenbelt Rail Yard in College Park, Maryland, about 90 minutes away.

The company expects the project to create 460 direct jobs at the plant, and a total of 1,300 jobs after including indirect jobs. The plant will include a production area, warehouse and main office, as well as an 800-yard test track.

Pittsburgh-based Hitachi Rail expects the plant to open in the winter of 2023-2024 and will be able to manufacture up to 20 railcars per month when fully operational. Its carriages will be used in various types of passenger trains, including trams, metros and high-speed trains.

“From there, our 460 U.S. employees will build a fleet of modern subways and have the capability to build trains for towns and cities across North America,” said Hitachi Rail chief executive Andrew Barr, in a press release. “Hitachi Rail’s mission is to provide smoother, more sustainable journeys for passengers, customers and cities, and the creation of a new US Rail Factory reflects our ambition to deliver to the United States.”

Hitachi noted that the factory location is in a major US logistics hub. The company currently has another railcar factory in Miami, in addition to facilities in Japan, Italy and the United Kingdom. Hitachi Rail has over 12,000 employees in 38 countries.

Image Credit: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post

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