Siemens, which employs 350 at its French Road factory, had used an East Coast subcontractor to build the metal outer shells of its railcars. The shells were then shipped to the local plant for final assembly and testing.
But the distance created logistics problems. So to gain better control of all phases of its manufacturing Siemens decided to take the job in-house.
The retrofit will be undertaken over the next year, and will require hiring seventy five welders for the new assembly line. The company wants the retrofit finished before it is scheduled to start work, on a 33 rail car contract with Calgary and a 34 car contract for Denver.