On February 15, 2012, Sumitomo Corporation of America in conjunction with its car builder partner Nippon Sharyo, received a contract award from Virginia Railway Express (VRE) for 50 Gallery-type Bi-level Passenger Cars. The base order is to supply 8 cars at a contract price of $21 million and is scheduled to be delivered in 2014. This contract includes an option for VRE to purchase up to an additional 42 cars. If the option is exercised, the total contract would amount to $119 million. VRE will use the cars procured through this contract to update its fleet by replacing some of their older cars and adding more cars to handle their increase in ridership.
The gallery-type bi-level passenger car is a unique type of bi-level car which has open space between the two sides of the upper deck and allows ticket collectors to check tickets on both levels from the bottom level. Sumitomo Corporation of America with Nippon Sharyo has already delivered a total of 71 passenger cars to VRE. Moreover, a total of 643 gallery-type bi-level passenger cars has already been supplied by Sumitomo Corporation of America and Nippon Sharyo in the U.S.
Sumitomo Corporation of America and Nippon Sharyo have been supplying commuter rail cars, including Electric Multiple Units (EMUs) in the North American market since the 1980s. In the 30 year period, they have delivered approximately 900 cars.
In October 2010, Nippon Sharyo strengthened its long commitment to the North American marketplace and announced the establishment of their own passenger railcar production facility in Rochelle, Illinois. With an investment that will increase its competitiveness in the North American market, the new VRE cars will be manufactured at this U.S. production facility. This order is in addition to the 160 gallery-type EMUs for Metra in Illinois, 12 single-level Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) for Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) in California and 18 single-level DMUs for Metrolinx in Toronto, Canada, already scheduled for production when the facility opens.
Sumitomo has 50 years of contract management experience in bringing transportation systems to life. As a prime contractor, the company has developed, managed and delivered transit systems for Chicago’s Metra, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, the Maryland Mass Transit Administration, California’s CALTRANS Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, the Los Angeles County MTA, the Virginia Railway Express, and will begin the delivery of DMUs to SMART and Metrolinx at the end of 2013. Sumitomo has supplied Automated People Mover (APM) systems for the Washington Dulles International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Miami International Airport.
Sumitomo globally has been involved in building various types of transit systems around the world, including light rail systems in Manila, Philippines, people mover systems at Hong Kong’s new airport at Chek Lap Kok, and other systems in Japan.