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1/25/2008



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

CTA adjusts contract to include additional car features


The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) recently approved changes to its contract with Bombardier Transportation, which is building up to 406 new rail cars for the authority.

The contract now calls for adding wireless connectivity to the cars' electronic systems, which will enable operators to view live video from any car when the passenger intercom unit is activated and emergency responders to access car video. In addition, shop personnel can use the wireless system to obtain real-time diagnostic information.

Bombardier also will add cellular modems so the control center can directly communicate with passengers in real time, and upgrade seats to feature an anti-stain/anti-microbial fabric.

The adjustments will increase the contract value from $577 million to $603.6 million.

In addition, CTA officials have asked Bombardier to determine what additional enhancements could be made to improve the cars' functionality and appearance without affecting production and delivery. CTA is considering improved seat and lighting designs, and the addition of flat-panel information screens and windscreens.

"An investment of this magnitude should include the most up-to-date capabilities available in the industry," said CTA President Ron Huberman in a prepared statement. "It takes years to plan for the manufacture and purchase of new rail cars and we want to use the final design phase to incorporate the most current enhancements."

Bombardier is expected to deliver the cars between 2010 and 2012.


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