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11/26/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Sound Transit contemplates light-rail vehicle contract


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Sound Transit recently proposed awarding a contract to joint venture Kinkisharyo International L.L.C. and Mitsu & Co. Inc. to provide light-rail trains for the agency’s Central Link system, which officials broke ground on earlier this month.

If Sound Transit’s board approves the $131.8 million contract, Kinkisharyo-Mitsu will design, manufacture and deliver 31 low-floor light-rail vehicles and provide associated equipment and support. The contract is $6.5 million below the budgeted amount.

The first 95-foot vehicle — designed to carry 200 passengers — would be delivered by November 2006; deliveries are expected to be completed by September 2008. Cars would be assembled in Washington state’s Puget Sound region.

Initially, the agency plans to run two-car trains at six-minute headways in each direction during peak commuter hours. As ridership grows, officials expect to operate four-car trains and decrease headways to three minutes.

Kinkisharyo would be responsible for designing, manufacturing, assembling and testing the trains; Mitsu would finance, insure and ship the vehicles.




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