Governor Baker in Springfield for CRRC ribbon cutting

The $95-million rail car manufacturing facility project began in 2014

Artistic rendering of the completed CRRC factory on Page Boulevard in Springfield.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) –  Governor Charlie Baker toured the nearly completed Springfield facility which will build rail cars for the state on Thursday.

Governor Baker toured the $95 million CRRC facility on Page Boulevard Thursday afternoon with Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and Mayor Domenic Sarno.

The $95 million rail car manufacturing facility project began in 2014, when the China Railroad Rolling Stock Corporation, or CRRC, signed a $566 million contract with the state to manufacture 284 subway cars for the MBTA. Governor Baker was in Springfield for the topping off ceremony last August.

The 200,000 square foot manufacturing plant on Page Boulevard is expected to create at least 150 jobs in Springfield. Gov. Baker said he sees the facility attracting more business in the future.

“They now have contracts with other cities in the U.S., and I have a feeling this is going to become a really significant flagship for manufacturing and assembly of rail cars here in the U.S,” Gov. Baker told 22News.

So far, the rail company has also secured contracts to build subway cars for the Los Angeles Metro system and commuter rail cars for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

The company is required to hire 50 percent of their employees from Springfield, and 90 percent from the greater Springfield area. Residents told 22News creating more than 100 new jobs in the city could have a real impact on the people who live here.

“Springfield would really benefit from some nice positions,” said Joshua Lewis of Springfield. “Everyone says there aren’t any jobs out here, so, with that factory open on Page Boulevard, open up some nice jobs for everybody, that would be nice.”

The Governor said the new facility has tremendous potential for western Massachusetts.

“It’s great for Springfield because not only are they gonna be hiring and paying people from this area to make theses cars, but they now have contracts with other cities in the us. I think this is going to become a flagship for manufacturing rail cars in the U.S.”

The first new MBTA rail cars made at the Page Blvd. facility are expected to be delivered in Springfield by 2018.