The board of directors of Southern California-based commuter rail service Metrolink voted unanimously to exercise the option to purchase 20 additional, state-of-the-art, safety-enhanced Hyundai Rotem railcars equipped with collision absorption technology for $1 million under market value per car.
The action, when added to the initial purchase of the new cars, amounts to 137 of the nation's safest railcars being deployed on Metrolink's system, starting with the first 10 next month.
"With the option to take advantage of the prices expiring at the end of the month, it was important for the board to act in a timely fashion," said Metrolink Board Chairman Keith Millhouse. "I'm pleased to be part of a board who continues its ongoing mission to operate the nation's safest passenger rail service."
The new passenger and cab cars are characterized by unique features such as:
- Crush zones that absorb impact at each end of the car.
- Enhanced bumpers to absorb, balance and dissipate force if an impact were to occur.
- Couplers that absorb energy and help to keep cars in line and upright.
- Work tables designed to dissipate the force of a collision.
- Reconfigured seat placement in each car.
- Comfortable seats with higher seat backs, provide more neck and back support.
- Illuminated and marked pathways and exits.
- An elevated train operator compartment.
- Preinstalled inward and outward facing video cameras.
- Sleek, stainless steel exterior.
Metrolink is hosting a Whistle-Stop Train Tour the first two weeks of December to introduce its new fleet to the public. The cars will be gradually deployed as they are received from Korea, constructed in Colton, Calif. and tested across the system following introduction.