NEWARK, N.J. — N.J. Transit’s Board of Directors last month authorized the purchase of an additional 45 multilevel rail cars from Bombardier Transportation — a move that saves the company money on overhaul costs.
The fleet of 279 rail cars will enable N.J. Transit to meet and anticipate ridership demand on its busiest rail lines, while providing a higher level of comfort for customers.
“Purchasing additional multilevel rail cars is a smart business decision — one that will allow us to replace some of our aging fleet more cost-effectively than overhauling older rail cars,” said Transportation Commissioner and N.J. Transit Board Chairman Kris Kolluri. “Overall, the new fleet will enable us to provide additional capacity while we continue to advance the Access to the Region’s Core project and the next generation of capacity improvements.”
The additional multilevel vehicles will approximately replace the seating capacity of 49 Comet III-series rail cars delivered to N.J. Transit in 1990. The Comet III cars require a midlife overhaul, and replacement of these cars with multilevel vehicles has been determined to be a cost-effective alternative.
In December 2006, N.J. Transit debuted its first multilevel train — whose planning and design included extensive input from customers — on the Northeast Corridor. Last month, N.J. Transit increased its eight-car train to an 11-car train, running four trips per weekday.
To date, Bombardier Transportation has delivered 23 multilevel cars to N.J. Transit, with a number of cars going through the commissioning and testing process. The manufacturer is expected to deliver all 279 cars by mid-2009.
By late July, N.J. Transit anticipates placing a second multilevel train into service on the Northeast Corridor.
“Since the first multilevel train entered service, we have continued to receive positive feedback from both customers and employees,” said N.J. Transit Executive Director Richard Sarles. “Increasing the order of cars will give us 20 percent more seats and allows us to support growing demand.”
The state-of-the-art design features a number of customer amenities, including:
- Two-by-two seating, meaning every seat is either a “window” or an “aisle”
- Wider aisles that facilitate passenger boarding and alighting
- More knee room (25.27 inches) — a full inch more than Comet V single-level cars — and 2.2 inches more seat width than Comet V seats.
- Large tinted windows, indirect ceiling lighting and soothing blue tones to produce a restful and spacious passenger environment
- An upper and lower seating level as well as an open, intermediate “mezzanine” level at each end of the car, complete with padded leaning stations — as well as areas for wheelchairs, cars, strollers and luggage
- Fully accessible restrooms on more than half of the cars, with refined finishes and a generous amount of space
- High-tech automated public address systems and LED destination screens to keep customers informed
- Improved anti-skid flooring in the vestibules and restrooms to prevent slips
The 279 multilevel car order consists of:
- 92 coach cars (with ADA restrooms) with 132 seats
- 42 cab cars (with ADA restrooms) with 127 seats
- 145 coach cars (without restrooms) with 142 seats
— Railfanning.org News Wire