Thursday, December 16, 2010

SMART taps Sumitomo/Nippon Sharyo for DMUs

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Sumitomo Corp. of America announced Thursday that, in conjunction with its carbuilder partner Nippon Sharyo, it has been awarded a contract from Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART) to supply 18 diesel multiple-unit (DMU) railcars for use in California’s Sonoma and Marin counties, north of San Francisco.

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The $57 million contract for the 18 DMUs also includes options for SMART and its partner agencies to purchase up to 146 cars. Delivery to SMART of the 18 DMUs is scheduled from the end of 2013 through the middle of 2014.

Among potential “partner agencies,” Ontario’s GO Transit is strongly leaning toward DMU equipment to provide service linking Union Station in downtown Toronto and Lester B. Pearson International Airport. 

Gino Antoniello, vice president, Sumitomo Corporation of America, Transportation Systems Unit, attended the SMART Board of Directors meeting Wednesday, where the board voted unanimously  to approve the Sumitomo/Nippon Sharyo team. “We are extremely pleased with this strong vote of confidence from the members of the SMART board,” he said.

“We know the length of time and tremendous scrutiny and rigorous analysis that went into determining what the best system would be for SMART, so to receive a unanimous vote from the board should not be taken lightly,” Antoniello said. “This means a great deal to us as we start our new relationship with this customer, and it should mean a lot for residents of both Sonoma and Marin counties to have had their voices heard, and to have their representatives vote with everyone's best interest in mind.”

Sumitomo and Nippon Sharyo often have teamed up in the past to supply passenger equipment to U.S. transit properties; among the duo’s more recent successful efforts is a contract to deliver 160 bilevel gallery cars to Chicago’s Metra.

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