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Rail News: Mechanical

Caltrain to add extra cars to trains


Starting May 11, Caltrain will add a sixth rail car to all Bombardier trainsets currently in operation on the California commuter-rail line.

The sixth car will provide 150 additional seats and increase standing room during peak-hour commute, Caltrain officials said in a statement.

The railroad earlier this year purchased 16 used rail cars to meet growth in demand and to mitigate overcrowding during peak hours, Caltrain officials said. Those cars will be added to existing trains.

"Demand for capacity is at an all-time high and modernizing the system to meet that demand is our top priority," said Chuck Harvey, deputy chief executive officer of operations, engineering and construction.

Four of the 16 cars were put into service soon after some maintenance and rehab work, Caltrain officials said. The remaining 12 cars require more repair work, including converting some of them to accommodate onboard bicycle storage.

All cars underwent an initial overhaul to ensure compatibility with existing vehicles, Caltrain officials said. For the next phase of work, the cars will be sent offsite for a new paint job, as well as conversion to bike cars or rehabilitation as necessary.

The used cars cost Caltrain an estimated $5.6 million, in addition to $9.4 million in rehabilitation costs.

The six-car trains will run during Caltrain's peak periods, as well as at other times of the day.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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