By awarding Siemens Rail Systems a contract to modify and refurbish 21 light rail vehicles (LRV), the Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT) will add to its fleet at a fraction of the cost of new vehicles. RT acquired the vehicles—originally built by Urban Transportation Development Corp. (UTDC)—from Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. The vehicles originally went into operation in 1987 and have been in storage since RT acquired them in 2003. They are now needed for RT’s expanding system but need to be updated to meet operating requirements.
The refurbishment will add approximately 15 years of additional useful life to the vehicles, while new vehicles are typically built to last 30 years. Siemens will also modernize the vehicle’s communications, event recorders and auxiliary power systems.
“Siemens is pleased to be able to help RT renew its existing assets,” said Michael Cahill, president, Rail Systems division, Siemens Industry, Inc. “This job is the ideal opportunity to demonstrate that refurbishing light rail trains is a viable and cost-effective option to extend the useful life of an agency’s existing rolling stock. Being a light rail market leader we possess the knowledge of systems and regulations to bring these vehicles up to today’s standards that are needed to serve the current market.”
RT plans to use the refurbished light rail cars for future additional service on existing light rail lines. The LRVs are expected to boost Sacramento RT’s fleet to enable it to run its first “limited stop express” on the Gold Line (Folsom/Sunrise line), planned for 2014. The agency also plans to use the refurbished cars to augment its fleet supporting the extension of the Blue Line to Cosumnes River College, which is set to open in 2015, and eventually express service on the Watt/Interstate 80 portion of the Blue Line as well. The agency intends to slowly renew its fleet over that time with new, low-floor vehicles that offer easy boarding for people in wheelchairs or with bikes, strollers and bags.
“Each and every day, thousands of local residents and visitors depend on the services of Sacramento RT,” says Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-05), who represents Sacramento. “Once modified and refurbished by Siemens’ well-trained workforce, these additional light rail vehicles will help RT continue to meet the growing transportation needs of our region.”