On Friday, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey officially inaugurated service for its new railcars, delivering on a significant portion of its long-term $3.3 billion commitment to modernize the PATH system.
The first seven cars of the new 340-train fleet are now on the tracks, kicking off the bi-state agency's modernization program that also will eventually include a new signal system and station upgrades.
The new railcars feature state-of-the-art safety systems, including a sophisticated braking system, an onboard camera system and event recorders required by new Federal Railroad Administration regulations.
In addition, the new cars will have three doors on each side to allow for faster loading and unloading; on-board news and information video; closed-circuit television recording capability; improved lighting, air conditioning and heating; prerecorded station announcements; better signs; and the capability for passengers to communicate with the crew.
The entire fleet of new rail cars, being built by Kawasaki Rail Car Inc., is scheduled to be in service by 2011.