Alstom received an initial order from Chicago’s Metra to supply 200 push-pull commuter railcars. The move follows Metra’s board approval in January 2021 to award Alstom a vehicle procurement contract for up to 500 railcars. This initial order of 200 railcars is worth approximately $774 million.
The multilevel cars incorporate new design features to improve passenger experience, including a streamlined, modern and welcoming interior equipped with USB plugs and boasting large windows and a layout to improve passenger flow and traveler comfort; seating and spacing to allow for additional ridership and physical distancing; touchless doors; improved bogie design for improved ride quality; and multiple wide doors on each side of the cars to reduce passenger boarding times and improve access to passenger areas.
The new cars will also meet all Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and accessibility requirements, including the addition of wheelchair lifts on each side of the vehicles. Fleet reliability will be enhanced through modern, service-proven components and enhanced maintenance and diagnostic system capabilities that will allow Metra to have greater visibility on fleet operational performance and increase fleet availability. Moreover, the new eco-designed cars will be energy efficient, boasting improvements and developments such as full LED lighting and climate control regulation based on passenger load. The new railcars will also be 90% recyclable.
The new cars will be built at Alstom’s rolling stock Centre of Excellence, and North America’s largest rolling stock manufacturing facility in Hornell, N.Y. The Alstom Hornell site will lead the project. Other Alstom sites will support the project including, Rochester, New York, for the automatic train control system.