Posts Tagged ‘public transit cars’

Waiting to Return to Downtown Cleveland

May 31, 2023

It is the late 1960s or early 1970s in Cleveland. Shaker Heights Rapid Transit car 72 and other PCC cars are sitting inside the Van Aken loop in Shaker Heights. Soon these cars will be called for rush hour service to downtown Cleveland. Today this is the Blue Line of Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.

Photograph by Robert Farkas.

Cleveland RTA Wins Grant for New Rail Cars

May 7, 2023

Plans by Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority to replace aging rail cars received a boost last week when the Federal Transit Administration awarded a grant to the agency.

The FTA awarded Cleveland RTA and five other transit agencies grants for rail vehicle replacement.

The funding is coming from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, approved by Congress in 2021.

An FTA news release said Cleveland RTA will $130 million to buy 60 new cars that will be capable of operating on all of RTA’s rail lines.

RTA had earlier said it plans to buy the cars from Siemens Mobility.

Also receiving grants were transit agencies in Miami; St. Louis; Chicago;, Sacramento, California; and Salt Lake City.

RTA Board OKs Contract for 24 New Railcars

April 20, 2023

The governing board of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority this week approved moving ahead with the purchase of 24 new railcars.

The board agreed to award a $164 million contract to Siemens Mobility for the purchase of the Model S200 railcars with an option to purchase up to 60 cars in the future.

The 52-seat cars will be modeled after a similar car type used by a transit agency in Calgary, Alberta.

RTA is hoping up to 60 new cars to its fleet over a seven-year period.

The new cars will be ADA accessible and come with two two wheelchair-accessible seats and capacity for four bicycles per car.

They will have high floors and plastic seating. The current cars used by RTA have 72 fabric seats per car.

The age of the existing fleet ranges from 39 to 42 years. RTA officials have said those cars have become prone to rust and corrosion.

The cost of replacing all of RTA’s railcars has been put at $393 million, which includes the cost of the cars, infrastructure and railroad changes, and spare parts.

Cleveland RTA Eyes 24 New Cars for Red Line

April 6, 2023

An artist conception of the proposed new rail cars for Cleveland RTA rail lines.

If it can find the money to buy them, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority is leaning toward purchasing 24 new rail transit cars from Siemens Mobility.

The Cleveland RTA governing board heard a report this week about plans to buy up t o 60 high floor car over a seven-year period. The projected cost of that is $393 million.

Although the RTA board voted to move ahead on spending $164 million to purchase 24 cars, it acknowledged it is $7 million short of being able to cover that cost with its existing funds.

The initial 24-car order would be assigned to the Red Line between Cleveland Hopkins Airport and East Cleveland via downtown Cleveland.

The new cars would be ADA accessible, including two wheelchair-accessible seats. Capacity of the cars would be 52 seats and space for four bicycles.

Other features of the new cars include plastic seats, heated windshields, and ice cutting technology.

What was presented to the RTA board this week was a concept. The actual design of the rail cars will be done over a 15-month period once the agency signs a contract with Siemens.

The new cars would replace 69 of the agency’s existing cars.

The new cars, though, would come with fewer seats than the existing cars, which can seat 84. RTA officials said the loss of seating will be offset somewhat by having more standing room.

In a statement, RTA General Manager and Chief Executive Officer India Birdsong Terry said the Siemens Model S200 cars would come with lower maintenance cost, provide more flexibility in their operation and improve the passenger riding experience.

RTA Chief Operating Officer Floun’say Caver said the new cars would provide increased rail route flexibility by making possible trips the current infrastructure cannot support.

He cited as an example having a one seat ride from Hopkins Airport to the Green Road Station in Shaker Heights.

Currently, making that trip requires a change of trains at Tower City Station in downtown Cleveland.

The existing RTA rail car fleet  is of two different models with one model confined to the Red Line and the other model confined to the Blue, Green and Waterfront lines.

Caver said that although the current fleet of RTA rail  cars is safe to operate, they are prone to rust and corrosion.

The agency conducted a study that concluded it was more cost effective to replace those cars than continue to repair them.

The car replacement process has been four years in the making and suffered a setback in 2021 when vendor response to an RTA request for proposals proved to be inadequate.

The RTA board plans to discuss the rail car replacement program at an April 10 committee meeting with the full board expected to consider the plan on April 18.

As for funding of the new rail cars, officials told the board that RTA has $157 million on hand with another $67 million committed to the project that will become available over the next several years.

RTA hopes to land a $130 grant from funds provided by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Grants from that pot of money. Those grant winners are expected to be named next month.

If RTA fails to win that grant or receives less than the $130 million it is seeking, officials said the rail replacement project will need to be scaled back.

A Day on the Pittsburgh Light Rail System

January 2, 2023

On Friday Dec. 30 I went to Pittsburgh to ride the streetcar system. I got a few photos including some street trackage running.

The first two photographs feature street running in the Beechview area. That is followed by a

a Silver line train, but I forgot the name of the station

Finally, we see a restored PCC at the Heinz History Museum It was a fun day trip.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

Dillon to Present at ARRC End of Year Dinner

November 28, 2022

The Akron Railroad Club will be holding its annual end of year dinner on Saturday (Dec. 3) at the New Era restaurant in Akron. The event is limited to 40 participants.

The program will be presented by ARRC President Todd Dillon.

His program will focus heavily on the Chicago Transit Authority’s 75th anniversary. This will include photographs from the Chicago elevated and the Fox River museum and the Illinois Railway Museum.

Also included will be photographs from the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and a Nickel Plate Road 765 excursion in Indiana.

Shown above are a few images from Todd’s program that he will present on Saturday night.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

More Urban Transit Railfanning in Chicago

October 7, 2022

Here’s some more pictures from Chicago last weekend where the Chicago Transit Authority was celebrating its 75th anniversary. The first two images are in the Loop with Trump Tower in the background. The third photo shows a Brown Line train crossing over the former Chicago & North Western station, which is now a Metra station. Finally, a Red Line train is at Belmont. The new Belmont flyover is in the background.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

Special Day at Fox River Trolley Museum

October 5, 2022

In conjunction with the Chicago Transit Authority 75th Anniversary last weekend, the Fox River Trolley Museum in South Elgin, Illinois, held its own unique photo charter.

Recently restored CTA 4451 was the star of the show and was posed with various other former CTA equipment.

The museum opened in 1966 and operates about 4 miles of the former Aurora, Fox River & Elgin interurban line.

Included was another pair of 6000 series cars, a single 6000 series car painted green, a crane, and 5001, an articulated train set built in 1947. We had the run of the line and got many interesting photos.

Shown above are the 4451 with a crane car; and CTA 5001, which was primarily used on the Skokie Swift or CTA Yellow line. This is former North Shore Line trackage acquired after that line shut down in 1961.

Also shown are the 441 with the 6000 series cars, and North Shore 715 running a regular museum trip.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Heritage Day on Chicago’s Transit Network

October 4, 2022

Last Saturday Chicago Transit Authority celebrated its 75th Anniversary. They ran some old L cars and also a few buses in the Loop.

I went to Chicago to catch the action. The older cars consisted of a pair of 4000 series cars built in 1922 (so 100 years old happy birthday).

A pair of 6000 series cars built in the 1950s and a four car set of 2400 series cars built in the late 1970’s.  They also had some GMC fishbowl buses built in the 1950s through 1970s.

I was more focused on photography but did ride the 4000 series cars and one of the buses.

They ran between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and then returned to the car barns at Howard Street on the CTA Red line.

We rode out to Sheridan station which is on old and so far un-remodeled station. I caught all the trains here in great sunlight going around a curve.

It was a fun way to spend the weekend and different from the mainline trains I normally raifan.

The first three photographs above show the 4000 pair of cars at various locations, including at the Sheridan station.

Also shown is a 6000 series pair and a 2400 series train at the Sheridan station.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Heading for Downtown Pittsburgh

March 10, 2022

Port Authority of Allegheny County transit car No. 4011 is bound for Pittsburgh in this photo taken in Castle Shannon, Pennsylvania, in April 1990. PAT 4008 is waiting beside the Castle Shannon Administrative Building.

Photograph by Robert Farkas