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CRRC seeking projects in L.A.

China CRRC, Chicago transport, high-speed railway

CRRC Corp., China's only maker of high-speed locomotives, said it's interested in investing in more U.S. cities after winning a $1.3 billion rail-car contract from Chicago's transport authorities.


The company is bidding for a subway project in Los Angeles and a double-deck train contract in Philadelphia, CRRC Vice-President Yu Weiping said in an interview in Manhattan. It also is looking for work in New York, according to Yu.


"Time and time again, you ask me whether I love you, yes I do," said Yu, citing a Chinese pop song on his interest in New York. "It is the most dynamic center in the world."


Yu's comments came after the Chicago Transport Authority last month ordered 846 rail cars from a unit of CRRC, its second U.S. deal in 18 months. The Chinese government combined former trainmakers CSR Corp. and China CNR Corp. last year, forming CRRC to better compete with Germany's Siemens AG and France's Alstom SA. A $567 million Boston deal that CNR won before the merger in 2014 was China's first major rail contract in North America. It's proposal was 50 percent cheaper than Bombardier Inc.'s bid.


CRRC, which has 170,000 employees, will focus on the U.S. this year while it's also interested in Europe and other markets, Yu said.


China is leading the nation's overseas push by train equipment makers as part of the government's broader strategy to turn China into an advanced industrial nation. They have targeted emerging markets in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia for rail-related orders, while also bidding for high-profile contracts in the developed world. China won the rights to build a $5.5 billion railway line in Indonesia in October last year, beating out Japan for the link from Jakarta to Bandung. 


A China Railway Group-led consortium and XpressWest Enterprises LLC is forming a joint venture to build a high-speed railway linking Las Vegas and Los Angeles, the first Chinese-made bullet-train project in the U.S.



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