CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – CRRC, the Chinese firm that manufactures subway cars in Springfield, has hit a delay in its work for the MBTA. What’s causing this slowdown?

CRRC said that like many companies, pandemic-related issues are triggering delays in the production of these subway cars. CRRC has a pair of contracts with the MBTA together worth more than $880 million committing the company to replace the orange and red line fleets with brand new vehicles.

Officials from T say these new vehicles will help increase capacity and frequency. Now that work on the orange line is complete, 78 of the 152 new subway cars have been delivered.

“The corporation experienced significant monetary loss due to facility closures, supply chain issues, and really uncoverable delays to real car production. and umm even umm most crippling impacts to employee retention,” said Lydia Rivera, CRRC MA spokesperson.

The new timeline is for orange line cars to be delivered by summer 2023, 17 months past the contract’s due date, and cars for the red line expected in summer 20-25, 21 months past the contract’s due date. CRRC says they are working cooperatively with the MBTA on these issues and hope to accelerate production on the timeline if possible.

The MBTA Deputy general manager said C-R-R-C’s Springfield site has about 250 production and manufacturing employees, about 180 of whom work on MBTA trains.