Siemens has been awarded a $73 million contract to build 18 of its S70 light rail vehicles for TriMet in Portland, Ore. The vehicles will be manufactured from start to finish at Siemens' rail vehicle manufacturing plant in Sacramento, Calif., a facility powered almost entirely by two megawatts of solar energy. The first new rail cars are expected to be delivered in August 2014.
These 18 vehicles were ordered as a part of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project. This extension includes a light rail alignment that travels 7.3 miles, connecting Portland State University in downtown Portland, inner Southeast Portland, Milwaukie and North Clackamas County. When it opens in September 2015, it will bring the light rail system to a total of 60 miles and 97 stations.
The extension includes 10 stations and the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge spanning the Willamette River between the Oregon Health & Science University's South Waterfront Campus to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. This contract award will bring the total number of S70 light rail cars manufactured for TriMet by Siemens to 40. Siemens Rail Systems has a strong relationship with TriMet, having previously provided more than 100 low floor vehicles, including TriMet's newest fleet of 22 S70 light rail vehicles delivered in 2009.
The light rail project is a central element to the region's development, with about 22,000 households and 85,000 employees within walking distance of the stations. It's expected that 25,000 trips will be taken on the new line each weekday by the year 2030.
"This fifth generation of MAX light rail vehicles will include many improvements for riders and operators," said Dan Blocher, TriMet executive director of Capital Projects.
Compared with the Type 4 model, the Type 5 light rail vehicles for this project are more durable and have energy efficient LED interior lighting; improved HVAC for passenger comfort; more ergonomic cabs for operators; upgraded digital camera technology; improved ADA ramps for better accessibility, improved vehicle seating layout, more advanced vehicle diagnostics and easier maintenance.
The S70 Type 5 has a maximum operational speed of 55 miles per hour. Its low floor design enables passengers to board the train at street level, providing quicker and easier access for people of all abilities.