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Commercial / Industrial Projects

Springfield Railcar Assembly Facility

Owner: China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation
Location: Springfield, Mass.

When the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) awarded the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) a $566 million contract to build 284 railcars, the Beijing-based corporation selected an abandoned 40-acre site in Springfield, Massachusetts, to build a 204,000-square-foot state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. A project of national significance, the facility is CRRC’s North American operations hub and represents China’s first venture into the high-end railway transportation equipment industry in the U.S. The project created 150 permanent new jobs, jumpstarting economic development on a blighted brownfield site.

Serving as the architect of record and lead engineer, Gannett Fleming provided planning, design, permitting, bid assistance, construction administration, and commissioning services for the design-build project, which represents a $95 million global investment in the U.S. economy. The firm worked hand-in-hand with design builder Plaza Construction LLC to deliver eight construction work packages during a seven-month design schedule without missing a deadline. Creative solutions to on-site challenges allowed the project to be completed on time so that CRRC could begin operations as planned.

The Springfield Railcar Facility project transformed an abandoned brownfield along Interstate 291 into the home of a modern manufacturing facility. The facility’s open floor plan features one fixed and six portable platforms that offer access to all sides of a railcar during assembly, improving worker efficiency. An overhead crane system positions railcars as they are assembled. To enhance safety, the team designed and programmed two cranes to work in tandem, preventing collisions and allowing one operator to control both cranes.