Thursday July 28, 2005
Metro Board members and executives from Italian rail car manufacturer Ansaldobreda, Inc. today inspected a new, technologically advanced light rail vehicle that will help the agency accommodate future growth of the Metro Rail system.
The 2550 Light Rail Vehicle is the first of 50 that Metro has ordered from the manufacturer. At a cost of $2.9 million each, the 76-passenger, 54-ton, 90-foot long vehicles contain the latest in rail car technology, from advanced propulsion system and diagnostic equipment to greater accessibility for Metro's transit patrons.
The rail cars will first operate on the Metro Gold Line in late 2005 or early 2006. They will also be deployed on the Metro Gold Line's future extension into East Los Angeles, which is due to open in December 2009.
The 2550 contract includes two 50-car options for the procurement of additional rail cars to meet the growing needs of the rail system.
The new vehicle provides many improvements that will directly benefit transit customers. Automated announcements on an interior and exterior public address system will apprise passengers of approaching stops. Seats are cantilevered, which opens up floor space for faster boarding and alighting. There are four wheelchair locations conveniently located at each entrance of the train. Additionally, multiple destination signs are strategically placed to make it easy for all patrons to view their stop information.
"The 2550 is as technologically advanced as any light rail car operating in the United States," said Roger Snoble, Metro's chief executive officer. "Ansaldobreda has answered our call for a first class vehicle that meets the needs of all three Metro Rail light rail lines, to be delivered on time and within budget."
Some of the rail vehicle's other new features include:
Stainless steel structure and composite body components that increase the vehicle's lifespan while reducing maintenance costs.
Camera security system that films interior and exterior views.
Global Positioning System that provides automatic time-stamping of all major sub-systems. Provides improved automatic station announcements.
Event Recorder (Black Box) that captures and records events and conditions of the vehicle in the case of incidents.
On-board hardware and software that improves fleet management capabilities.
LON-Works that allows train operators improved control and recognition of the operating vehicle. Train operators will also have improved communication throughout the train.
The most current and service-proven IGBT AC-drive propulsion system with improved regenerative braking properties, which feeds electrical power back into the overhead cantenary system.
Ansaldobreda, Inc. is one of several leading manufacturers of both heavy and light rail vehicles. The company has designed and manufactured light rail vehicles for major transit operations in U.S. cities including San Francisco, Atlanta and Boston, as well as for operations in several European cities. Ansaldobreda also designed and manaufactured the 104 heavy rail vehicles currently in use on the Metro Red Line subway.
Metro operates 73.1 miles of light and heavy rail and serves nearly a quarter million boarding passengers on an average weekday.