Officials cheer Bombardier contract for New Jersey rail cars

The Sun Community News
December 12, 2018

By: PETE DEMOLA

PLATTSBURGH | New Jersey Transit’s Board of Directors approved the purchase of 113 rail vehicles from Bombardier on Wednesday.

The purchase is worth at least $669 million, and options could bring the total deal to $3.6 billion, according to the North Country Chamber of Commerce.

“This is the type of major order that is needed to keep our transportation equipment companies, including Bombardier and its North Country suppliers, in active production, sustaining and growing jobs in our region,” said NCCC President Garry Douglas in a statement.

The Montreal Gazette reported the contract includes options for NJ Transit “to purchase up to 636 additional vehicles, as well as 250 vehicles for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.”

The newspaper reported a number of self-propelled passenger vehicles designed to increase the reliability of the rail system have been included.

“Bombardier has a proven track record with New Jersey Transit and now we can look forward to New Jersey commuters enjoying modern travel on railcars produced in the North Country for decades to come,” Douglas said.

Bombardier and its area suppliers are part of a cluster of 54 transportation equipment and aerospace companies that employ more than 9,000 people in the North Country.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) called the announcement “tremendous news for Bombardier and our Plattsburgh region.”

“I commend Bombardier for manufacturing top-flight vehicles that continue to help our region prosper,” said Stefanik in a statement. “I am pleased to continue to work actively with Bombardier and the entire transportation equipment cluster in our region on mass transportation funding and other matters in Washington. Plattsburgh continues to lead the way as a hub for manufacturing in our region, and I will continue to pursue policies that will help our businesses succeed.”

The order appears to be good news for the Plattsburgh plant following Bombardier’s announcement last month to cut 5,000 jobs in the next 12 to 18 months.

The Montreal-based company has said 2,500 workers in Quebec and 500 in Ontario will lose their jobs as part of the five-year restructuring plan, CTV reported.

The restructuring is projected to save $250 million annually starting in 2021.

“The recent global workforce reductions had no impact on the Bombardier operation in Plattsburgh,” Douglas told The Sun on Wednesday. “The site in Plattsburgh has in fact grown over the last year to more than 600 employees and is hiring.”