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Gov. Patrick to Unveil $1.5B MBTA Project Coming to Springfield

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Deval Patrick will be in Springfield today to make an announcement regarding a $1.5 billion MBTA project coming to the city.

The outgoing governor will be at 655 Page Blvd., the site of the former Westinghouse plant, the property where Chinese manufacturer CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles has proposed building a plant to assemble new subway cars for the MBTA. Hyundai Rotem of South Korea has proposed building a similar plant on Progress Boulevard in Springfield, but only one company will be chosen for the project, and today’s press-conference location has fueled speculation that Changchun will be selected.

The MBTA plans to buy at least 226 cars — 152 Orange Line cars, replacing the current, 31-year-old fleet of 120, and 74 Red Line cars, with an option to build as many as 132, replacing the current 43-year-old cars. Changchun, the largest maker of rail cars in the world, plans to hire between 150 and 300 workers and use Springfield as a base to bid on other transit projects nationally.

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