Thursday, May 09, 2013

Kawasaki Rail Car marks 25 years at Yonkers, N.Y., plant

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc. on May 9 joined with New York State officials, elected representatives, and transportation professionals to celebrate 25 years of manufacturing railcars at its Yonkers, N.Y., plant. During the past quarter-century, Kawasaki has produced more than 2,500 railcars at the facility.

Kawasaki has made railcars and component parts for a variety of transit systems, including MTA New York City Transit, MTA Long Island Rail Road, MTA Metro-North Railroad, Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation (PATH), Connecticut DOT, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), and Maryland Transit Administration, and also for non-North American customers such as the Department of Rapid Transit Systems, Taipei City.

“We are proud to have established ourselves as a premier carbuilder, providing high quality reliable cars to our customers such as the MTA and PATH and to have created hundreds of jobs here in New York for the past 25 years,” said Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc., CEO Hiroji Iwasaki.

In the 1980s, Kawasaki Rail Car worked with then-Governor Mario Cuomo to establish its base of operations in Yonkers. “This was at a time when manufacturing jobs were on the decline and other large companies were shuttering their doors,” Kawasaki said. “In the years since moving to Yonkers, we have sustained hundreds of jobs at our facility and have contributed to the local and statewide tax base, in addition to having a front-row seat to the revitalization of Downtown Yonkers. The economic implications emanating from our Yonkers facility are not only felt locally, but depending on the size of the project, we have used on average an upwards of 100 New York-based subcontractors and suppliers, creating an economic ripple effect throughout the State. We were a pioneer in building stainless steel subway cars (the R62, and subsequent models R142 and R168), which helped contribute to the battle against graffiti on the New York City subways, and also worked to develop cutting edge technology, including [electric multiple-unit railcars] that can draw power from both overhead and third-rail based power sources.”

Kawasaki is currently working on the next generation of the No. 7 line subway cars that will be supplied to New York City Transit, the R180.