About 40% of Metra’s present fleet of 840 automobiles are rated in marginal or poor situation, though they’re nonetheless protected to function.
Metra’s board accredited the acquisition of as much as 500 state-of-the-art railcars from Alstom Transportation, choosing new multilevel automobiles that shall be extra comfy, accessible, dependable, and protected than the outdated gallery automobiles they’ll exchange.
“We’re lastly modernizing one of many oldest fleets within the nation and, in doing so, we are going to enhance operations whereas elevating our passenger expertise to a completely new stage,” mentioned Metra’s CEO/Govt Director Jim Derwinski. “It’s actually a part of our long-term plan to evolve and serve the altering wants of in the present day’s commuters.”
About 40% of Metra’s present fleet of 840 automobiles are rated in marginal or poor situation, though they’re nonetheless protected to function. The brand new automobiles will provide elevated reliability, whereas lowering working prices — a considerable enchancment over the growing expense of sustaining the older automobiles.
The acquisition has been a part of Metra’s board plan since 2014. The board reviewed and mentioned the necessity for brand spanking new railcars by way of a lens of fiscal accountability, whereas acknowledging this as the primary coach fleet buy in additional than twenty years. With consideration given to the impression of operational value financial savings, the board voted unanimously to approve the acquisition.
The brand new automobiles could have two entranceways on either side with doorways almost stage to the platform, thereby requiring just one step to enter as an alternative of a number of steps on the previous gallery automobiles. These adjustments will enhance passenger circulation, improve security, and scale back time spent boarding and deboarding at every station. The automobiles can even be wheelchair accessible for folks with disabilities, deploying lifts to bridge the slight distinction between the platform and entrance.
Pushed by shopper analysis carried out in 2019, the brand new automobiles shall be designed for modern-day consolation and teeming with passenger facilities, together with video screens, bike racks, storage for luggage, charging shops, cupholders, arm rests, and extra.
From a mechanical perspective, the brand new automobiles shall be considerably quieter and ship a noticeably smoother trip. However one improve which will curiosity in the present day’s riders is the addition of essentially the most superior HVAC system obtainable, which can scrub the circulated air — lowering staleness, allergens, and airborne viruses.
The brand new automobiles could have chrome steel our bodies and be appropriate with Metra’s present fleet, which suggests they are often coupled to present automobiles. They can even characteristic many reliability and security upgrades, together with a microprocessor-controlled braking system, electrically operated doorways, and passenger space cameras.
The preliminary order shall be for 200 automobiles. Metra could have the choice to purchase as much as 300 further automobiles for as much as $1.eight billion whole. The automobiles specified within the contract are a personalized model of Alstom’s Coradia Duplex mannequin and shall be constructed at their Hornell, N.Y. manufacturing facility.