Rochelle’s Nippon Sharyo railcar manufacturing plant is set to close and the building is up for auction, city leaders confirmed on Thursday.
The company announced it would be closing at the end of August due a failure to deliver 130 bi-level Amtrack passenger cars for Illinois and California, according ot Trains.com.
A 2015 prototype failed a safety test and the California Department of Transportation elected to work with Siemens, instead.
“Ultimately, the complexity of the project prevented Nippon Sharyo from successful completion of this project,” according to a statement to Trains News Wire. “This result brought significant losses, which severely impaired our financial conditions to the extent that we can no longer build rail cars at the Rochelle factory.”
The Nippon Sharyo facility opened in Rochelle in 2012 and manufactured cars for Chicago’s Metra commuter rail.
The company has had several layoffs over the years since 2015.
The building’s sale is being handled by Avison Young, with no list price. Offers are due by September 30th.
Nippon Sharyo released the following statement Thursday afternoon:
“For more than a year now, Nippon Sharyo has been reducing its workforce at the Rochelle plant to meet a decreased workload around the company’s North American operations. The closure of this plant is the final step in that process. While this is not the outcome we would have wanted, and are disappointed for our staff and the community, we are heartened that most of our former employees have been able to find employment elsewhere.
The closure of this facility comes after years of dedicated work by company leaders and employees to deliver the 130 Bi-Level Passenger Rail Car. Ultimately, the complexity of the project prevented Nippon Sharyo from successful completion of this project. This result brought significant losses, which severely impaired our financial conditions to the extent that we can no longer build rail cars at the Rochelle factory.
In the months ahead, Nippon Sharyo will be preparing a sale of the factory and its assets. We will work with the relevant parties to ensure that is a smooth process, and one that will ultimately benefit the community. We also want to express our gratitude to the City of Rochelle for its exemplary partnership over the past several years. The city’s leadership and the community have provided an excellent location for our North American manufacturing operations, and we thank them for welcoming our company over the past decade.”