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The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) late last week approved a $137 million contract with CRRC MA Corp. for 45 multilevel commuter-rail coaches.The contract includes an option to buy 10 additional coaches, according to a SEPTA press release.CRRC MA Corp. is a subsidiary of China Railway Rolling Stock Corp. (CRRC). The new units will be built primarily at the company's main U.S. manufacturing plant in Springfield, Mass.The coaches will meet "Buy America" requirements, with 60 percent or more of the parts, labor and fabrication originating in the United States, according to SEPTA. The units will be paired with SEPTA's new electric locomotives, which are being built by Siemens. The agency evaluated proposals from CRRC, Bombardier and Hyundai Rotem; CRRC's bid was the lowest of the three. The fleet upgrades play a key role in advancing SEPTA's Regional Rail service improvement program, said SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey Knueppel. "SEPTA's Regional Rail ridership has grown by more than 50 percent over the last 15 years," Knueppel said. "The addition of new multilevel coaches and electric locomotives are critical for expanding capacity and meeting the needs of our riders."CRRC also is building rail cars for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the Chicago Transit Authority and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.