Two of the original light rail vehicles that have been serving San Diego patrons of Metropolitan Transit System’s (MTS) Trolley were loaded onto flatbed trucks for their final journey to San Antonio. The U2 Trolley cars will be used for the Transportation Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program (NEDCTP).
The vehicles, which weigh about 80,000 pounds each, were cut in half, hoisted by crane and strapped down to flatbed trucks for their 1,300-mile trip. It is estimated that each car carried approximately nine million passengers since beginning service in 1981. The cars were manufactured in Germany by Siemens, which now has a manufacturing plant in Sacramento, Calif., and continues to supply MTS with new light rail vehicles.
“These cars were the workhorses of our system since the inception of our light rail system,” said Paul Jablonski, CEO of MTS. “It is satisfying to see that their life has been extended and will play a role in keeping transit system patrons safe throughout the United States.”
All TSA-trained canine teams attend the 10-week training at the Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. The dogs are trained to detect explosive devices at transit facilities and on-board all types of vehicles. The MTS cars will provide the dogs a real-life environment in which to train.
Two firms worked with MTS to load and transport the cars. Bragg Crane Service lifted the cars onto flatbed trucks supplied by Value Express Trucking. The trip from San Diego to San Antonio is expected to take two days.