The Metropolitan Authority of Harris County (Houston Metro) awarded Siemens Industry Inc. a contract worth $83 million to build and deliver 19 S70 light rail vehicles, including spare parts, training and manuals.
The deal marks Siemens' second order from Houston Metro, which will bring the total number of Siemens vehicles in Houston to 37. The vehicles will be manufactured at Siemens' rail vehicle manufacturing plant in Sacramento, Calif., an operation powered mostly by two megawatts of solar energy.
The S70 has a maximum operational speed of 66 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.
Siemens was the turnkey provider for Houston Metro's 7.5 mile starter line, which opened in January 2004, just in time to transport 64,005 fans to and from Super Bowl XXXVIII. Siemens provided the rolling stock, rail automation, rail electrification and overall project management to achieve this starter line. The agency currently has 16 stations and 18 S70 light rail vehicles in operation, with an average daily ridership of 34,600.
The new railcars will be delivered beginning in October 2012.