- May 6, 2007
- Reaction score
All of the Orange Line shells are done and delivered - I don't think anyone knows the status of the Red Line shells - which goes to the point that I agree the Orange Line we should just try to get them done given we have all the shells and are about halfway there. The Red order seems pretty DOA and I doubt will be done in 5 years anyway. Could be worth it to add an extra year or two, cut our losses on it, and streamline rebid it w/o the made-in-MA requirements (and grab some federal funding while we are at it). Plus the state of the plant and the disaster of QA and control that has been reported, these seem like they are going to be a potentially large liability down the road, and I am sure warranty claims will be a nightmare to deal with CRRC on. I don't see the order getting better anytime soon, especially given the current economics in China, and all the other disincentives already documented in this thread.
So, yeah, I have done government/State contracting I get how long the process is, but, it doesn't realistically look like we are going to get the Red Line order anytime soon either way. Sticking with CRRC has a ton of liabilities and issues for the Red order.
There's no losses to cut at this point. The factory exists and has produced a bunch of Orange Line cars. I get all the structural issues with this (depending on the Chinese Government's goodwill being chief among them) but I don't see a better, faster way to get new Red Line trains on the system than to keep going and keep holding the MBTA and CRRC's feet to the fire.
FWIW, not every one of their procurement is a disaster. They have a good thing going with CAF on the Green Line and have had the good sense to play it forward to the Type 10s.
I'm also not aware of a single heavy rail vehicle procurement in the US in the last decade that hasn't looked like a catastrophe at this point in the process, regardless of manufacturer.