Hornell officials give Alstom 'high ball' to keep expanding

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HORNELL, N.Y. — Alstom's plans to expand and modify its manufacturing plant in Upstate New York have taken a leap forward now that more local government officials have given their blessings.

The Hornell Evening-Tribune reports that Hornell city planning board members approved the France-based company erecting three new buildings on the site of former Erie Railroad shops. Those buildings are a 34,800-square-foot test building, a 27,000-square-foot "end cycle" building, and a 3,400-square-foot expansion to the company's pipe shop. The newspaper reports that Alstom workers will complete the buildings in that order as pre-fabricated metal structures within the next 18 months.

The changes are necessary, Alstom officials say, to accommodate workers who will be building 28 new Avelia Liberty high-speed trainsets for operation on the Northeast Corridor. The contract for those trainsets from Amtrak is worth approximately $2 billion. The first of the trainsets are expected to enter service in 2021.

The newspaper says the company is also working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Norfolk Southern to build a new track to accommodate testing the high-speed trainsets at up to 184 mph.
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