The Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT) will begin operating the first set of newly-refurbished light rail vehicles on the recently opened Blue Line to Cosumnes River College light rail extension on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015.
The additional light rail vehicles will increase capacity on the Blue Line and throughout the RT light rail system in order to maintain service levels. Sacramento-based Siemens is refurbishing a total of 21 light rail vehicles that will eventually be in operation systemwide. The light rail vehicles were refurbished on-site at the Siemens rail manufacturing facility in Sacramento and at the RT light rail maintenance facility.
RT acquired the vehicles — originally built by Urban Transportation Development Corp. (UTDC) — from the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. The UTDC vehicles originally went into operation in 1987 and had been in storage since RT acquired them in 2003. The refurbishment process allows RT to add to its light rail fleet at a fraction of the cost of new vehicles.
RT received $7.1 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) federal economic stimulus funding toward the refurbishment of the UTDC vehicles.
“The rollout of these refurbished light rail vehicles shows the power of local partnerships,” said Congresswoman Doris Matsui. “RT’s work with Siemens has allowed federal stimulus funds and local taxpayer dollars to improve RT’s level of service, while also creating jobs at Siemens’ Sacramento rail manufacturing hub. The partnership has been a win-win that we can point to with confidence of a job well done.”
The refurbishment included overhauling the bogie, the structure located underneath the train where the wheels and axles are attached; modernizing the vehicle's communications, event recorders and auxiliary power systems; and updating the vehicle’s heating and air units and exterior body. The refurbishment will add approximately 15 years of additional useful life to the vehicles.
“We’re proud that Siemens is a long-term partner with RT to help modernize its transportation fleet in a cost-effective way,” said Chris Maynard, VP Customer Services for Siemens Mobility. “Working together closely with RT, we were able to combine our technology expertise to give these vehicles new life to move people in and around Sacramento.”
RT also operates 36 Siemens-manufactured light rail vehicles purchased in 1986-87.
The general public is invited to tour a newly-refurbished UTDC light rail vehicle on Tuesday, September 8 from 11 a.m. to noon at the Cosumnes River College Station.