Management & Operations

NCTD unveils DMU trains

Posted on October 18, 2006

The North County Transit District (NCTD) in Oceanside, Calif., unveiled the first of 12 Siemens Transportation Systems (STS) Desiro Classic DMU (diesel multiple units) trains during a ceremony at its vehicle maintenance facility.

The trains, which are Siemens’ first DMUs to arrive in the U.S., will be used for NCTD’s Sprinter line and link customers to existing and planned rail and bus lines over 22 miles of track spanning four cities. It will also connect to San Diego Metropolitan Transit Systems’ COASTER service, as well as Amtrak, Metrolink and Greyhound when it begins service in December 2007.

“This is a very exciting development that’s been a long time coming,” said Jerome Stocks, NCTD chairman. “This single transportation project is probably going to do more to change the face of North County than anything that’s come before it.”

STS’ Desiro units are manufactured in Germany — where they are primarily used — and feature a lightweight, aluminum bodyshell construction and sleek European design, with modular interior configurations.

The drive system features dual 420 horsepower turbocharged, inter-cooled six-cylinder diesel engines, as well as a five-speed automatic transmission with integrated torque converter and retarder. It travels at a top speed of 55 miles per hour and can run in two unit sets.

“Ninety-percent of the vehicle is standard off-the-shelf,” said Frank Guzzo, STS’ director of business development for the western region. “However, we’ve improved the acceleration, cleaned up the emissions to meet EPA Tier 3 compliance conditions, and made significant improvements to the air-conditioning system.”

Additional exterior/interior features of the DMUs include destination indicators on each side of the unit, as well as in front; multiple seating compartments with padded seats in two levels; roomy overhead compartments for passenger storage; and multipurpose areas with folding seats and fixtures for stowing bicycles, baby carriages or bulky luggage.

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