CHICAGO (WLS) -- Plans are moving ahead to make rail cars once again in Chicago.
Friday, China-based CRRC announced it has hired the first group of employees to work at its new facility on Chicago's Far Southeast Side. They will make the newest rail cars for the CTA.
The new facility has already created more than 200 jobs during construction and will create another 170 jobs.
"The creation of this state-of-the-art railcar facility is not only an investment in the CTA, but a vote of confidence in Chicago's economy and our workforce," Mayor Emanuel said. "Our goal of having a world-class transportation system is one step closer with this critical investment on the far Southeast side."
"We are excited to have hired the initial group of union production workers who will assemble the next generation of railcars for the Chicago Transit Authority," CRRC Sifang America's President Chengyong Liu said. "As we complete the new Chicago facility, our newly hired workers will be training in preparation to build the first 10 prototypes of the new 7000 Series railcars to be delivered later this year."
CRRC will supply the CTA with more than 840 new 7000 Series rail cars, which will replace about half of the CTA's current fleet.
It's been 50 years since rail cars were built in Chicago.