FILE - Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Washington Metro, WMATA

The Washington Metro (Mustafa Khayat | Flickr via Creative Commons)

(The Center Square) – A new $70 million rail car production facility in Hagerstown took one step closer to reality on Tuesday.

Hitachi Rail debuted the final designs for the factory, which anticipates sustaining 1,300 jobs in the region while building next-generation rail cars. The facility also includes a new 800-yard test track which is expected to be completed along the Greencastle Pike in 2024.

The factory anticipates creating 460 direct jobs as the company will construct all types of trains for the North American market.

“It is exciting to see the new Hitachi Rail factory coming together as the associated economic benefits – including 1,300 jobs – will be an absolute game changer for Washington County as well as the entire region,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a release. “This transformative project is further proof that the Hagerstown region is a major logistical center for rail transportation with unparalleled connections to the Northeastern United States, and is yet another shining example that Maryland is truly open for business.”

Ryan Companies, who is responsible for construction at the site, said land has been cleared and a concrete deck and external concrete walls are now complete. The project, according to the release, will use 1,000 tons of steel and 12,000 cubic yards of concrete, which is enough to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Hitachi Rail is scheduled to deliver an order of 256 new 8000-series railcars for its initial order for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which was announced in 2021. The factory, when production is initiated, will be capable of producing 20 railcars per month on one shift.

“With construction of our new train $70 million factory on schedule and progressing well, we are one step closer to delivering a new, high-quality fleet for the Washington, D.C., region’s Metro,” Hitachi Rail Group chief executive officer Andrew Barr said in a release. “It is exciting to be able to release the final designs of our new facility with its cutting-edge Lumada technology. Manufacturing pioneering trains is core to our business, and this factory, with its new workforce, will have the capability to build trains for all of North America.”

According to the release, the construction and operation of the factory features 60% of its value spent with suppliers from the Hagerstown region.

The state’s Department of Commerce and Washington County worked in unison with Hitachi Rail to bring the company to the area, according to the release.

Associate Editor

Brent Addleman is an Associate Editor and a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky.