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Bombardier in lead for 999-car New Jersey rail contract -sources

MONTREAL, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Canada’s Bombardier Inc is the front-runner to win a New Jersey Transit (NJT) rail car contract, two sources familiar with the matter said, in a boost for the plane-and-train-maker’s North American business which has wrestled with delivery delays and has lost orders to rivals.

The order for up to 999 multilevel passenger cars, including options, would be one of the largest contracts in years if most of the options are exercised, one of the sources said.

Chinese state rail giant CRRC Corp was also vying for the contract. NJT ruled out the competing bid from the Chinese company, the sources said, although it was not immediately clear why.

CRRC and NJT did not respond to requests for comment.

A Bombardier spokesman declined to comment on what he called an “ongoing procurement.”

Reuters reported in April that Bombardier was vying for the contract from NJT, which planned to order 113 multilevel passenger cars, with hundreds more in options, to modernize its aging fleet. (Reporting By Allison Lampert in Montreal; Additional reporting by Brenda Goh in Shanghai; editing by Denny Thomas and Grant McCool)