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Business Rolling At Rochelle Railcar Maker

It’s official. A railcar maker in Rochelle will build 130 high speed rail cars for the Midwest and California.  Governor Pat Quinn and U-S Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the $352-million contract Monday at Nippon Sharyo’s factory in Rochelle.  

Quinn says it’s more proof that Illinois is once again the railcar building center for the nation.

We’re here to announce to any other transit agency across the United States that we know how to build those rail cars. We have men and women in this state who have great skill, great craftsmanship. We understand manufacturing.

The intent to award the multi-state contract to Nippon Sharyo was first announced in late September, but there were a number of conditions that had to be met before it was finalized. The high speed rail cars will be delivered to Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and California, beginning in 2015.

The contract is a very big deal for the company that’s expected to employ 300 people in Rochelle next year. Takeshi Murata, a senior vice president with Nippon Sharyo’s parent company, Sumimoto, says he’s proud to see the company becoming an important part of the community. He added this contract, plus the contract to build cars with Metra, make this one of the best times in Nippon Sharyo’s thirty year history.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood praised President Obama and Governor Quinn for their vision and support of high speed rail. Now he says it’s important for America to continue supporting high speed rail projects.

We’re gonna work with congress, but we need Americans who like to ride trains, and who like these investments, and who like the jobs they have to be part of our vision, the President’s vision, Governor Quinn’s vision, to support the next generation of transportation for the next generation.

Susan is an award-winning reporter/writer at her favorite radio station. She's also WNIJ's Perspectives editor, Under Rocks contributor, and local host of All Things Considered.
Guy Stephens produces news stories for the station, and coordinates our online events calendar, PSAs and Arts Calendar announcements. In each of these ways, Guy helps keep our listening community informed about what's going on, whether on a national or local level. Guy's degrees are in music, and he spent a number of years as a classical host on WNIU. In fact, after nearly 20 years with Northern Public Radio, the best description of his job may be "other duties as required."
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