Companies showing interest in old Westinghouse site

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The former Westinghouse site on Page Boulevard that was almost Ameristar Casino could now be the North American hub for Changchun Railway Vehicles Company.

The MBTA is looking for a company to manufacture its railcars. 22News found out how three bidders are looking at Springfield to build their plant.

22News spoke with City Development Officer Kevin Kennedy at a Springfield Economic Development meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Kennedy said he and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno met with representatives from Changchun Railway Vehicles Company, or CNR, the largest rail passenger cars manufacturer in China.

He said CNR is one of three bidders for Springfield, but the only one with a possible location in mind, the land on Page Boulevard that used to be the Westinghouse.

It’s now owned by Pinnacle Entertainment who bought out Ameristar Casinos. 22News discovered Tuesday that Pinnacle is in “an option agreement” with Changchun.

“It would mean a first major manufacturer coming to the City or actually coming to the Northeast for a long, long time. It would also mean that people have confidence in the City of Springfield,” said Kennedy.

Kennedy said a bidder could be selected by the end of this year. He said CNR is interested in building its North American hub in Springfield because of its workforce, stable government and close proximity to highways.

Kennedy said the company would immediately hire 150 employees, and more over time.