Rail

Chicago Metra upgrades railcar amenities

Posted on July 18, 2012

Alex Clifford, executive director/CEO, Metra, charging his phone at one of the new power outlets in a renovated railcar.
Alex Clifford, executive director/CEO, Metra, charging his phone at one of the new power outlets in a renovated railcar.

As part of a multi-year, multimillion-dollar program to renovate its railcars, Chicago’s Metra is installing a variety of new features to improve the passenger experience — perhaps most noticeably by adding power outlets so riders can charge their electrical devices.

Passenger improvements aren’t the only highlight of the rehabilitation program. The passenger cars are being refurbished in-house by Metra workers with years of experience, dedication and know-how. Metra’s processes and procedures have been streamlined to create an ultra-efficient operation that can strip and fully rebuild a car in just 36 days and are saving riders and area taxpayers a great deal of money while pumping dollars back into the local economy.

“If we sound excited by our Amerail passenger car rehabilitation program, it’s because we are,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Alex Clifford, “We’re getting like-new cars for a fraction of the cost of new ones, giving our riders some nice improvements and amenities and keeping 60 jobs in Chicago. It’s a win-win situation for all involved.”

Metra is adding doors with sensitive edges, similar to elevator doors, which will retract if they come into contact with a person or object in the way.
Metra is adding doors with sensitive edges, similar to elevator doors, which will retract if they come into contact with a person or object in the way.


The program aims to rehabilitate 176 cars that were built by Amerail (originally Morrison Knudson) between 1995 and 1998. The car shells were built in Japan but the cars were assembled in Chicago.

Forty cars have been completed so far and 60 should be completed by the end of the year. The entire Amerail fleet, which includes 79 cab cars and 97 trailer cars, should be done by the end of 2016. The work will extend the life of the cars by 12 to 15 years; with future rehabs Metra should be able to get 50 years of service or more out of these cars.

The work is costing about $650,000 in materials and labor per car, or $115 million for the entire project. Contrast that with the going rate for a new car, which is $2.5 million to $3 million depending on the type of car and the number ordered. That’s a savings of about 75% or more.

The railcars will feature new composite floors and seats that meet the latest safety regulations.
The railcars will feature new composite floors and seats that meet the latest safety regulations.

The new amenities include:

• Doors with sensitive edges, like elevators doors, so they will retract if they come in contact with a person or object in the way.

• Four new LED signs per car, which will assist all passengers, but especially passengers with hearing disabilities, with location announcements.

• New toilets and bathrooms.

• New wheelchair lifts.

• New composite floors and seats that meet the latest safety regulations.

• Nineteen electrical outlets spaced throughout the seating area on the lower level of the car to power phones, computers, iPods, iPads and other gadgets.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Supporting the regional economy in Milan via transport investment

The Brussels based UITP’s World Congress is the major global gathering of the world’s public transport industry to network, review progress and innovation, understand trends from suppliers as well as focus on the challenges that public transport faces in delivering a viable, sustainable future for the world.

SMART secures $11 million grant to buy 3 more rail cars

The three additional cars will boost SMART’s seating capacity by 35%, officials said. Because of the escalating costs for rail cars, the grant also was estimated to have saved taxpayers about $11 million, according to state officials,

Parsons Brinckerhoff under contract to deliver Calif. high-speed rail

Will begin work on a seven-year, $700 million rail delivery partner contract awarded by the California High-Speed Rail Authority earlier this month.

Alstom to supply 13 Coradia Lint regional trains to Danish network

The Coradia Lint 41 is an environmentally-friendly low-consumption Diesel Multiple Unit that can reach a maximum operating speed of up to 87 mph.

Bombardier to supply trains for Delhi Metro

The order for 162 MOVIA metro cars is valued at approximately $228 million, and delivery will begin in the third quarter of 2016.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The resource for managers of class 1-7 truck Fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close