Siemens received an order for 45 new S70 light rail vehicles (LRVs) from the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS). The new vehicles will allow service enhancements on existing rail lines and provide the necessary LRVs to operate the 11-mile extension of the UC San Diego Blue Line that is now under construction.
The order will bring the total number of vehicles supplied to MTS to 244, making MTS the largest U.S. light rail customer for Siemens. The S70s will be built at the Siemens rail manufacturing hub in Sacramento, Calif. The first vehicles are expected to arrive in late 2018.
“This order marks another milestone in our successful 35-year relationship with MTS. These California-built vehicles will help continue MTS’ legacy of outstanding service to its riders and help accommodate riders on their growing rail system,” said Jochen Eickholt, CEO of Siemens’ Mobility Division.
The new order of low-floor LRVs will feature a redesigned middle section of the vehicle to improve passenger flow including greater wheelchair accessibility and bicycle storage. MTS will use 36 of the 45 new LRVs on its Mid-Coast Trolley expansion, a new service to help manage current and future travel demand to and from the University City community. The additional nine vehicles will be used to increase frequency on the UC San Diego Blue and Orange lines.
Siemens has been providing LRVs to MTS since 1981. MTS recently sold or retired 71 Siemens U-2 vehicles, which were the original vehicles on the nation’s first modern light rail system. The original 15-mile segment from the International Border to downtown San Diego has since grown to more than 53 miles of double-tracked railway that serves the entire urbanized area of San Diego.