As the next generation of Trolley cars gears up to begin service on the UC San Diego Blue Line, officials with the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) unveiled the first Siemens vehicle of the new Trolley series as part of a “Trolley Open House.” The new Trolley cars will enter service as part of the 5000 vehicles series, representing the third generation of modern, low-floor vehicles, which have been in operation on MTS’ light rail network since 2005.
For the past seven months, MTS has been steadily receiving new Siemens S700 Trolley cars as part of an order of 45 vehicles placed in 2016. The first Trolley car was delivered last August, in the iconic red paint scheme of the San Diego Trolley, with the remaining vehicles expected to be delivered over the next two years.
The 45 new S700 light rail vehicles (LRVs) have the same low-floor characteristics as newer models in MTS’ current fleet, but feature a redesigned middle section to improve passenger flow and provide door-to-door accessibility for riders in wheelchairs or other mobility devices. To facilitate cleaning and maintenance, train seats will be upholstered standard in vinyl rather than the cloth used in previous models. Additional features include improved interior sightlines for added security and relocated operational equipment to facilitate easier access by maintenance technicians.
The vehicles were delivered from the Siemens rail manufacturing hub in Sacramento, California and bring the total number of LRVs supplied to MTS to 244, making MTS the largest U.S. light rail customer for Siemens.
MTS operates 95 bus routes and three Trolley lines on 53 miles of double-tracked railway. Every weekday 300,000 passenger trips are taken on MTS bus and Trolley services in 10 cities and unincorporated areas of the county. In FY 2018, MTS served nearly 86 million riders.