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Rail News Home Mechanical

July 2013

Rail News: Mechanical

Passenger railroads detail current, near-term rolling stock plans


By Angela Cotey, Associate Editor

As a supplement to the Fleet Stats coverage included in Progressive Railroading’s July issue, we contacted about 50 North American transit agencies to learn about their current and near-term rail-car and locomotive purchase plans. Below is an summary of the plans from organizations that responded, listed in alphabetical order.

Amtrak is partnering with the California High-Speed Rail Authority to purchase high-speed train sets that can operate at speeds up to 220 mph on the Northeast Corridor and California's future high-speed corridor. Amtrak plans to place an initial order for 12 new trainsets in 2014.

In May 2012, San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit awarded a $3.2 billion contract to Bombardier Transportation for 410 new rail cars, with an option to purchase up to 775 cars. The first vehicles are scheduled to be in service in 2017.

Calgary Transit has "started the process" to purchase 50 new light-rail vehicles, according to an agency spokesperson.

The Florida Department of Transportation is taking delivery of 10 GP40WH Tier 0 aerodynamic cab locomotives from MotivePower Inc. The units are valued at $2.4 million each. The department also is taking delivery of 13 bi-level cab cars, valued at $3 million each, and seven bi-level coach cars, valued at $2.8 million each, from Bombardier Transportation. The locomotives and rail cars will operate on the SunRail commuter-rail line.

Last year, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority ordered 78 light-rail vehicles from Kinkisharyo International L.L.C. at a cost of $3.3 million per vehicle. This year, the agency plans to order an additional 97 units. The LRVs are scheduled to be delivered beginning in May or June 2015 at a rate of four vehicles per month.

Toronto's Metrolinx has various rolling stock orders in play. The agency has purchased 10 MP40 PH Tier 3 locomotives from MotivePower Inc., valued at $52 million, scheduled to be delivered before year's end. Under a separate, $63.5 million contract with MotivePower, Metrolinx has purchased 10 MP40 twin engine Tier 4 locomotives that are scheduled to be delivered in 2016. Meanwhile, the agency has purchased 113 bi-level coaches — including cab cars and standard coaches — from Bombardier Transportation under a $305 million contract. The rail cars are scheduled to be delivered between 2013 and summer 2015. Finally, Metrolinx has purchased 18 diesel multiple units from Nippon Sharyo, valued at $81.5 million, to be delivered in 2014.

MTA Metro-North Railroad will continue taking delivery of 405 M-8 electric multiple units from Kawasaki Rail Car Inc. through the end of 2014. The contract is valued at $982.5 million.

MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) plans to issue a request for proposals for 752 new R211 "B" Division subway cars, to be delivered between 2017 and 2020, as well as two R251 vacuum trains. Meanwhile, the agency is taking delivery of 506 R188 "A" Division subway cars from Kawasaki Rail Car Inc. under a $475 million contract; the delivery is scheduled to be completed in 2016. Beginning next year, NYCT plans to start taking delivery of 300 R179 "B" Division subway cars from Bombardier Transportation under a $599 million contract.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas (METRO) has purchased 19 S-70 light-rail vehicles from Siemens. Delivery is scheduled to be completed in August. The cars will operate on the agency's Metro North Line. METRO also has purchased 39 light-rail vehicles from CAF USA. Those cars are scheduled to be delivered beginning in October.

For the past two years, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System has been taking delivery of 65 light-rail vehicles from Siemens. So far, 55 vehicles have been delivered; the remainder are scheduled to be delivered within the next six months. The cars are valued at $3.6 million each.

Next year, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency plans to issue a request for proposals for a new fleet of light-rail vehicles.

The San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission, which oversees the Altamont Commuter Express service that runs between Stockton and San Jose, Calif., has two rail cars on order from Bombardier Transportation that are scheduled to be delivered in mid-2014. The cars were about $3 million each and feature a bistro option.

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority has purchased 60 rail cars from Bombardier Transportation at a cost of $215 million. To be delivered in 2017 and 2018, the cars will operate on the future Bay Area Rapid Transit extension to San Jose.

Seattle’s Sound Transit plans to soon purchase nine Sounder commuter-rail cars to accommodate the addition of three new trips on the Sounder South line in 2016 and 2017.

The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, which operates Tri-Rail commuter-rail service, expects to take delivery of the first 10 new locomotives from Brookville Equipment Co. this month, with the final delivery scheduled by 2014's end. The agency also is taking delivery of 24 rail cars (10 cab cars and 14 trailers) from Hyundai-Rotem Co. The total cost of the rolling stock purchase is $60.8 million.

As part of the Portland-Milwaukie light-rail project, the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon ordered 18 light-rail vehicles from Siemens. The first of the new trains are scheduled to be delivered in summer 2014.

Phoenix’s Valley Metro plans to soon issue a request for expression of interest for between six and 15 low-floor light-rail vehicles and modern streetcars. The agency is exploring opportunities for either joint procurement or piggybacking on an existing contract.

Virginia Railway Express has purchased eight additional gallery-style rail cars from Nippon Sharyo, at a cost of $2.4 million per car. The cars are scheduled to enter service in March 2014 and will feature 132 seats, bike and wheelchair space, in-cabin hand holds, luggage racks, armrests and cup holders, automated announcement communication systems and wheelchair lifts.

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