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Rail News: Passenger Rail

NJ Transit takes wraps off new multi-level cars

Yesterday, New Jersey Transit unveiled the first of 231 new multi-level cars at an event held at Newark Penn Station. The agency plans to begin using the cars next year to meet ridership demand on its busiest lines and improve rider comfort.

The cars — 100 of which are funded by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey — comprise 64 coach cars with 142 seats, 49 coach cars with 132 seats and 18 can cars with 127 seats. Costing an average of $1.9 million each and providing 31,447 additional seats, the cars feature 15 percent to 20 percent more seating capacity compared with single-level coaches.

“So many customers are excited to see the arrival of the first multi-level car because they know that these cars will eventually mean more available seats and a more comfortable commuting experience,” said NJ Transit Chairman Jack Lettiere in a prepared statement.

The prototype displayed by the agency is the first of seven coaches NJ Transit plans to test. Three cars will be tested in New Jersey and four coaches will be tested by the Federal Railroad Administration in Pueblo, Colo. The first production cars are scheduled to be delivered in spring 2006 and enter revenue service in late 2006. Early next year, NJ Transit plans to begin training mechanics, engineers, conductors and ticket collectors on how to maintain and operate the new cars.

“While we are anxious to put these cars into revenue service, that will not happen until all the car’s systems have been thoroughly tested, and our crews and mechanics are trained to operate and maintain them,” said NJ Transit Executive Director George Warrington.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/15/2005