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Rail News: Passenger Rail

MBTA taps Siemens for heavy-rail cars


Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Sept. 7 awarded Siemens Transportation Systems Inc. a $172 million contract for 94 heavy-rail vehicles, capital spare parts for the cars and an allowance for the overhaul of 24 existing vehicles.

Siemens primarily is known in the continental United States for its light-rail vehicles — although the company currently is manufacturing heavy-rail vehicles at is Sacramento, Calif., plant for Puerto Rico’s Tren Urbano project.

STS will oversee the project and provide engineering, design, procurement, sub-assembly supplies and technology for MBTA’s cars; STS partner, Hornell, N.Y.-based Transportation & Transit Associates Inc., will assemble the vehicles.

BMTA plans to use the cars on its Blue Line, which currently provides 57,000 passenger trips daily — many of which to Logan International Airport. Officials expect the new cars to boost the Blue Line’s total passenger capacity by 35 percent.