Posts Tagged ‘Siemens Mobility’

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.

Amtrak Shows ‘Airo’ Equipment Concept

December 16, 2022

Amtrak this week released drawings of the new equipment that is ticketed to replace Amfleet on state-funded routes in the East and Pacific Northwest.

To be known as Airo trains, the equipment is being built by Siemens Mobility and is expected to begin revenue service in 2026. 

The 83 Airo trainsets will be semi-permanently coupled and operate push-pull style. Each equipment set will have six to eight cars, including a cab control car.

Airo equipment will be capable of operating with electric or diesel power and have a top speed of 125 miles per hour.

The first assignment of the equipment is expected to be in the Cascades corridor between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Eugene, Oregon, via Seattle.

Other trains and route expected to operate with Airo equipment include the Northeast Corridor, Adirondack, Carolinian, Downeaster, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Keystone Service, Maple Leaf, New Haven/Springfield Service (Amtrak Hartford Line and Valley Flyer), Pennsylvanian, Vermonter and Virginia Services. 

The design of the Airo equipment is based  on the Viaggio Confort cars of the Austrian Federal Railways. In Austria, the Viaggio cars are propelled by electric locomotive power.

There also are similarities between the Airo cars and the Venture cars built by Siemens for use in Amtrak corridor service in the Midwest and California.

During a news conference in New York, officials said the first first Airo car shell is under construction in Sacramento, California.

Construction of the Airo fleet is expected to continue through 2031. Cost of the equipment has been put at $7.3 billion.

Seventeen of the equipment sets slated to operate in the Empire Corridor in New York State will use hybrid battery technology.

Amtrak will have an option to buy 130 additional Airo trainset.

Amtrak Finalizes Order for 25 More Chargers

June 24, 2022

Amtrak said on Thursday it expects to place in service by 2029 another 50 ALC-42 locomotives that it has ordered from Siemens Mobility.

The passenger carrier had said in February it planned to buy the additional Charger locomotives, but this week’s announcement indicated that terms of the purchase have now been completed.

A handful of the 4,200-horsepower locomotives have begun revenue service on the Chicago-Seattle/Portland Empire Builder with additional Chargers slated to soon begin pulling the City of New Orleans between Chicago and New Orleans.

In all Amtrak plans to buy 125 ALC-42 units to be used on long-distance routes and select corridor routes in the national network.

The Chargers are replacements for aging General Electric-built P42DC and P40 locomotives that began operating in the 1990s.

The ALC-42 locomotives are similar to SC-44 locomotives built by Siemens that now pull corridor trains in the Midwest, California and Pacific Northwest.

Amtrak’s first order of 75 ALC-42 locomotives was announced in 2018. That order plus the supplemental Chargers it now has on order are expected to cost $2 billion for the locomotives and a maintenance support program.

The new Chargers are Tier 4 compliant and will be built in Sacramento, California.

Amtrak Sets Deal to Buy New Trainsets

July 8, 2021

Amtrak will spend billions to buy new trainsets from Siemens Mobility that will replace Amfleet I equipment in the Northeast Corridor and state-supported corridor trains.

How much the deal is worth depends on whose news release you read. Siemens said the deal is worth $3.4 billion while Amtrak put it at $7.3 billion.

The Amtrak news release indicated that the contract also covers parts and service, facilities upgrades and other related expenses. The deal has an option for up to 140 additional trainsets and related maintenance agreements.

Siemens characterized the contract as its largest North American order in its history.

Back in April Amtrak had announced it had chosen Siemens to build replacement equipment for its corridor trains.

Corridor trains expected to get the new equipment include the Adirondack, Carolinian, Amtrak Cascades, Downeaster, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Keystone Service, Maple Leaf, Hartford Line and Valley Flyer, Pennsylvanian, Vermonter and Virginia services.

The long-distance Palmetto between New York and Savannah, Georgia, also will receive the new trainsets.

Amtrak said the Siemens order will include dual-power and battery hybrid trains, therefore ending locomotive changes in Washington and New Haven, Connecticut.

Also displaced by the new equipment will be dual-mode locomotives now used on Empire Corridor trains.

The announcement did not say how the order is to be divided between dual-mode and hybrid equipment.

Trains will have individual power outlets and USB ports, onboard WiFi, a digital seat reservation system, and trip information and digital navigation displays.

Cars will have ADA accessible restrooms, vestibules, and food service cars, wheelchair lifts, and inductive hearing loops.

Few other details about the makeup of the trainsets were provided other than saying they will have predictive maintenance technology and real-time digital monitoring

Siemens plans to build the trainsets in Sacramento, California, with the first deliveries being made in 2024. Deliveries will be completed in 2030.