Following through on a promise to build light-rail car components in Los Angeles County, Siemens Duewag Corp. said Thursday that it has selected a site in Carson where it will assemble the outside shells for train cars that will run on the Metro Green and Blue lines.
The plant will begin operating in January, and the first car is scheduled to roll off assembly lines in October, said Bill Mutschler, vice president of the Sacramento-based firm, a unit of Siemens of Germany. He estimated that the plant will provide about 100 jobs.
The cars will operate on the Metro Green Line, which will run from Norwalk to El Segundo and is scheduled to open next year, and the Metro Blue Line extension to Pasadena, set to start operation in 1998.
When the company was awarded a $200-million contract by the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission last year to build 72 cars, it pledged to locate a manufacturing facility in Los Angeles County. The agency, which has since been replaced by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, had been criticized for giving a contract to build Green Line subway cars to a Japanese firm--a deal the agency rescinded.
The Carson site "makes good on our promise to be a long-term partner with Los Angeles in its effort to rebuild the local economy," Siemens Duewag President Gunter Ernst said in a statement.
The new facility also may employ former defense workers, Ernst said, giving a boost to efforts to convert the South Bay's industrial base to sophisticated transportation development. AAI Corp. of Hunt Valley, Md., a defense contractor, is Siemens' partner in the MTA contract.
The 115,000-square-foot Carson facility, owned by Watson Land Co., was chosen because it already has cranes and other manufacturing equipment in place from its former tenant, Eden National Steel Corp. The site was chosen over a warehouse in Long Beach.
Siemens Duewag also would use the facility for other transit contracts. It recently submitted proposals to build 45 light-rail cars for Chicago and 100 cars for Boston.