At a total of 215 vehicles, the SFMTA contract is
Siemens’ largest US light rail order ever. The base contract for
US$648 million covers 175 vehicles. Including 85 optional additional vehicles,
the total contract is for US$1.2 billion. This order will expand the SFMTA
light-rail fleet by more than 70% when all of the vehicles are delivered.
The new vehicles will employ longitudinal seating instead
of a mix of longitudinal and front-facing seats as in the existing rolling
stock. SFMTA says that the new arrangement will provide the same number of
seats as the existing equipment, but the wider aisles will allow for more
seats for people with disabilities and space for strollers.
These new light-rail vehicles have been designed to
provide significantly fewer door and step malfunctions, currently the single
biggest reason for delays, than the existing equipment. They also provide
shorter braking distance and improved visibility for the operators.
The new vehicles are more energy efficient than the
existing vehicles, with a regenerative braking system and light-emitting
diode lighting that uses up to 40% less electricity than standard neon
lighting. Seven months of testing have been scheduled before the vehicles
enter revenue service in late summer.
Full article: IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine, Volume 12, Number 2, June 2017