Multilevel Rail Cars to Debut on Northeast Corridor

NEWARK, N.J. – After months of extensive testing, N.J. Transit will place the first multilevel train into service on Dec. 11 for customers on the Northeast Corridor between Trenton and New York.

“These cars provide much needed capacity to meet our growing demand while we build the Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel,” said N.J. Transit Chairman and Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri. “We look forward to customers coming aboard.”

“The Port Authority was proud to partner with N.J. Transit by providing $250 million for the first 100 multilevel rail cars,” said Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia. “That investment was the precursor to our landmark contribution to Trans-Hudson Express (THE) Tunnel project, which we believe will serve as our generation’s George Washington Bridge – a transportation project that is a cornerstone of economic growth for the region.”

In December, N.J. Transit will have nine multilevel cars available for service. The delivery schedule calls for the manufacturer, Bombardier Transportation, to produce seven cars per month from February 2007 until July 2007 and 10 cars per month thereafter until all 234 are on the property. As they are delivered and tested, the new cars will replace single-level cars where they are needed most – on N.J. Transit’s busiest rail lines: the Northeast Corridor, the North Jersey Coast Line and MidTOWN DIRECT service.

“These cars are special because our customers and our employees had early input into the design,” said N.J. Transit Executive Director George D. Warrington. “While adding capacity, we are able to give customers a new level of comfort with two-by-two seating, as well as more legroom, better lighting and updated restroom amenities.”

“We are pleased to be supplying these custom-designed, technologically-advanced, multilevel rail cars to N.J. Transit, and proud to be part of N.J. Transit’s vision to provide enhanced and reliable service between New Jersey and New York,” said Francois Auger, Vice President, Project Management and Customer Service for Bombardier Transportation, North America. “We look forward to seeing all of the vehicles delivered and in revenue service.”

The fleet of 234 multilevel rail cars offers 15-20 percent more seating capacity than single-level cars, providing additional seats for customers N.J. Transit’s busiest rail lines. A typical 10-car multilevel train will provide 225 more seats than a 10-car train using single-level Comet V cars.

The 234 multilevel car order consists of 86 coach cars (with ADA restrooms) with 132 seats, 33 cab cars (with ADA restrooms) with 127 seats and 115 coach cars (without restrooms) with 142 seats.

Before the first customer steps aboard, each multilevel car will be subjected to a rigorous testing process, including 51 qualification tests on everything from doors, communication equipment, noise, vibration and clearance.

The first four prototype cars each logged approximately 10,000 miles at speeds of up to 135 mph at the Transportation Technology Center test track in Pueblo, Colorado. Sandbags and water barrels have been positioned inside the first multilevel test cars in New Jersey to match or exceed the weight of a full load of passengers for brake, power and ride-quality testing under real-world conditions.

– Special to News Wire