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Siemens recently hosted San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) officials for a behind-the-scenes look at the first of 215 California-built light-rail vehicles currently under production at the company's rail manufacturing hub in Sacramento, Calif.The advanced technology S200 high-floor light-rail vehicles will soon begin operation in San Francisco, according to a Siemens press release.
The Siemens rail plant employs 1,000 people and has been in operation for more than 30 years. It is powered in part by solar energy. The new light-rail car is especially energy efficient with a regenerative braking system and LED lighting that uses up to 40 percent less electricity than standard neon lighting, Siemens officials said.Additional features include a sleek appearance and new seating configurations."These vehicles are being built in California, for California, and we're proud that the work being done at our nearly 1,000 person facility will help transform the way San Franciscans travel in and around the city," said Michael Cahill, president of Siemens Rolling Stock.The first SFMTA light rail vehicle is expected to arrive in San Francisco in December and will enter into final testing and commissioning prior to revenue service.Meanwhile, the Genesee Valley Transportation Co. Inc.'s Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad in Batavia, N.Y., on Aug. 17 hosted Surface Transportation Board Chairman Daniel Elliott III on a special train ride that was operated for shipper customers and the Northeast Pennsylvania Regional Railroad Authority's board. The train operated in two sections, with Elliott and the shippers riding from Scranton to Tobyhanna, Pa. From there, the shippers' section returned to Scranton, while authority officials and Elliott continued on their way in Steamtown's Lehigh Valley business car No. 353 to the Delaware Water Gap.