CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles Co. and its fellow candidates for a $1.5 billion contract supplying Red and Orange line cars for the MBTA must have their bids in Thursday.
CNR Changchun, which has plans to build the cars at the former Westinghouse site on Page Boulevard in East Springfield, will send its bid endorsements from both the Springfield City Council and the East Springfield Neighborhood Council.
"We informally polled the neighborhood at two meetings and there wasn't anyone who thought it was a bad idea," said Kathleen Brown, president of the East Springfield Neighborhood Council. "It will be great to get some manufacturing back on that site."
The Westinghouse had been the proposed location of an Ameristar Casino and had been talked about as a retail complex. Either of those proposals would have generated more traffic and disruption than the rail car factor is expected to create, Brown said.
"We have had manufacturing there for a long time," she said.
The Springfield City Council passed its resolution supporting Changchun at a meeting May 5.
Applications for the contract are due Thursday. The MBTA is expected to decide on a builder by the end of this year.
A prototype subway car for testing would be due in a year, according to the MBTA and full production would begin in three years.
The MBTA needs at least 226 cars, the agency said in a news release last year – 152 Orange Line cars, replacing the entire fleet of 120, and 74 Red Line cars with an option to increase the fleet to 132. The 43-year-old Red Line cars and 31-year-old Orange Line cars are due for replacement.