Sunday, March 28, 2010

2010 Passenger Rail Planner’s Guide: More billions pour into a growth industry

Written by  Greg Gormick
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2010 Passenger Rail Planner’s Guide: More billions pour into a growth industry Joseph M. Calisi


After confronting dark clouds for most of its 38-year life, Amtrak has seen a silver lining in the past year-and-a-half. The first break came with the passage of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) in October 2008, which is delivering $14.3 billion over five years.

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, Amtrak is also receiving $1.3 billion directly, and even more indirectly through President Obama’s January 28 announcement of the initial $8 billion round of funding for high-speed rail. More than half went to state improvements supporting improvements to current or future Amtrak routes. As well, $500 million in state-led grants are going to the Northeast Corridor (NEC) in addition to $700 million previously committed by Amtrak.

FY2009 ridership of 27.2 million didn’t match the all-time record set in 2008, but it was still Amtrak’s second-best year and the first quarter of FY2010 was 1.4% higher than 2008.

Amtrak has launched a rebuild program is using $90.8 million in ARRA funds to return to service 20 Superliners, one Viewliner, 60 Amfleet cars, and 15 locomotives. The Jobs for Main Street program will provide an additional $800 million for fleet modernization. A study recommends a rolling $11 billion program to replace the entire existing fleet by purchasing of 780 single-level cars, 420 bi-levels, 25 high-speed trainsets, 264 diesel locomotives, and 70 electrics.


Thanks to a C$923 million federal government funding package, VIA’s five-year program includes the rebuilding of 54 F40 locomotives and 98 tilt-body LRC cars, and major upgrades to CN, CP, and VIA-owned infrastructure. A C$230 million project will add 50 miles of triple-track at five locations on CN’s Kingston Subdivision. Now or soon to be under way are additional fleet improvements, station upgrades for Toronto, Montréal, Hamilton, and Vancouver, and all-new stations at eight locations in the Quebec-Windsor Corridor. A C$19.5 million contract with Milwaukee’s Avalon Rail will rebuild four classic Budd sleeper-dome-observation cars and eight sleepers into upscale luxury cars for the Canadian. VIA is also refurbishing 78 additional stainless steel long-haul cars and 21 GE Genesis locomotives in-house for C$20 million. Due for delivery this spring is a C$30 million high-speed study commissioned by the federal, Ontario, and Quebec governments.


The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s FY2010-2014 Draft Capital Plan seeks to address a $2.7 billion state-of-good-repair backlog and boost the more than 855,000 weekday trips on its 486-mile rail network of 13 regional rail routes, three heavy rail lines, four-route light rail system, and the Mattapan-Ashmont High-Speed Line. Ongoing delivery of 94 Siemens Type 5 cars has allowed for six-car operation of more than half of peak-hour Blue Line trains. A 2008 FTA Small Starts grant kick-started the $70 million upgrading of the 49.5-mile Fitchburg commuter rail line. A $55.5 million TIGER grant will extend service 4.5 miles west. The first of 75 bilevel commuter cars are scheduled for delivery in late 2010 under a $190.2 million contract with Rotem. In September, an RFP was issued for 40 new diesel locomotives.


The Connecticut Department of Transportation’s 51-mile Shore Line East (SLE) commuter service launched a second New London-New Haven roundtrip on Feb. 16 and four more will be added later in 2010. A $40 million ARRA grant to start New Haven-Hartford-Springfield commuter service was announced on January 28. The first two of 300 Kawasaki M-8 EMUs for the New Haven Line were unveiled on Dec. 24.


Annual ridership exceeded three billion on the combined 2,057-mile, 734-station network of the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (MTA) three rail systems: New York City Transit (NYCT), the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), and Metro-North Railroad (MNR). Construction is under way on the 8.5-mile, $4.8 billion first phase of the Second Avenue subway and the $2.1 billion 7 Line West Side Extension, but completion has been set back to 2017 and 2014, respectively. Also delayed is the $1.4 billion Fulton Street Transit Center.

The reconfigured $527 million South Ferry station opened on March 16, expanding capacity and improving transfers to the Staten Island Ferry and other NYCT lines. An option was exercised for 382 a.c. traction R160 cars on a contract originally awarded in 2002. Alstom is producing 242 cars for $491 million and Kawasaki will provide 140 for $293 million. Used on the “letter lines,” there are now more than 1,400 in service, out of a NYCT fleet of 6,284 cars.

LIRR celebrated its 175th anniversary on April 24. In 2009, LIRR posted a record on-time performance (OTP) of 95.2%. Completed in 2009 was the $60 million Valley Interlocking Signal Cutover Project at Valley Stream. On Jan. 5, LIRR opened its $108.1 million Atlantic Terminal Pavilion at Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues in Brooklyn. Work continues on the $8 billion East Side Access project to serve Grand Central Terminal. Begun in 2007 and scheduled for completion in 2014, it will provide direct East Side access for riders who currently transfer to NYCT subway lines or walk.

MNR chalked up an OTP record of 97.8% in 2009. A $292 million coach and locomotive shop was completed at the Croton-Harmon Yard. The $91 million Yankees-East 153rd Street station was also inaugurated.

PATH averaged 240,000 weekday boardings in 2009. The first of 340 Kawasaki PA5 a.c. cars arrived in 2009 as part of a $3.3 billion, 10-year program that includes $390 million for communications-based train control (CBTC), $659 million to modernize all 13 stations, and $549 million for other state-of-good- repair projects. In January, PATH awarded a $321 million CBTC contract to a Siemens-led consortium.


In FY2009, New Jersey Transit’s (NJT) 12 rail routes and three LRT lines carried 103.9 million riders. The FY2010 budget includes $1.79 billion for operations and a $1.39 billion capital program. ARRA funding has been secured for 16 projects, including $22 million in track work on five rail routes and at Hoboken Terminal, $64 million in signal upgrades on two rail routes and the Camden-Trenton RiverLINE diesel multiple unit service, a $40 million Pennsauken Transit Center that will connect the RiverLINE with the Atlantic City rail line, and $200 million for the $9.1 billion Mass Transit Tunnel (MTT).

A one-mile extension of Hudson-Bergen LRT to 8th Street in Bayonne opens this year and a 11.4-mile extension from North Bergen to Tenafly is progressing, as is an extension from West Side Avenue to Route 440 in Jersey City. Plans are advancing for the $36.6 million restoration of 7.3 miles of the Lackawanna Cut-Off from Port Morris to Andover. A route has been chosen for a new rail line between Glassboro and Camden.

Delivery of the 329-car Bombardier Multilevel order is nearly complete. The $245 million order for 27 ALP-46A electric locomotives was increased by nine units in June, with delivery scheduled for 2011. Prototypes from the $262 million order for 26 ALP-45DP dual-power (a.c. catenary/diesel-electric) locomotives will arrive in 2011.


Rebuilding of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s 13.5-mile Market-Frankford Subway/Elevated concluded in 2009. An Alternatives Analysis has been completed for a 4.9-mile, $277 million Norristown High Speed Line extension to King of Prussia and Valley Forge. FTA New Starts funding of $44.4 million is appropriated for the proposed $1.8 billion Schuylkill Valley Metro to Berks County. Rotem has begun delivering cars from its $275 million, 120-car Silverliner V order for the 13-route Regional Rail system. Signal and traction power improvements of more than $400 million also loom.

The Port Authority Transit Corp. (PATCO) is investing more than $100 million to modernize its 14.5-mile heavy rail Speedline from Philadelphia to Lindenwold, N.J., and up to $180 million to rebuild its 121 Budd and Canadian Vickers cars. A preferred route has been selected for LRT service linking Center City Philadelphia with the Delaware River Waterfront.


The $386 million conversion of portions of trolley lines to modern LRT standards by Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAT) was completed in 2004 with the reopening of the 5.2-mile Overbrook Line, bringing the system total to 25 miles. Now under construction is the $553 million North Shore Connector, a 1.2-mile northern extension from Pittsburgh’s Golden Triangle that tunnels under the Allegheny River from a relocated Gateway Center subway station. Studies continue for potential rail service from downtown to Westmoreland County.


The Maryland Transit Administration’s (MTA) 15.5-mile Baltimore Metro sees about 53,000 daily trips and its 33-station light rail line has grown to 34,000 weekday boardings. In August, Governor Martin O’Malley announced acceptance of LRT as the locally preferred alternative for the 12-mile, east-west Red Line, to operate between Woodlawn and the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, and the 16-mile Purple Line, a circumferential LRT route linking Bethesda and New Carrollton. Traffic growth spurred the 2008 purchase from Virginia Rail Express (VRE) of 13 Kawasaki bilevels nearly identical to MARC’s 50 cars and 26 remanufactured locomotives from the Utah Transportation Authority.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) Metrorail ridership increased to nearly one million weekday passengers in 2009. Its six-year, $3.3 billion Metro Matters program calls for improved maintenance and yard facilities and traction power upgrades. The 2008 arrival of the 6000-series Alstom cars allowed for eight-car service. Currently in development is the design of a fleet of up to 784 stainless steel 7000-series cars for delivery beginning in 2012. A $5 billion expansion of the Orange Line to Dulles International Airport is moving forward. The four-station Phase I to Reston will open in 2013 and the remaining six-station portion in 2016. Construction is also under way on the much-delayed 1.1-mile Anacostia streetcar line and three Skoda cars were delivered in December. Virginia Railway Express began receiving 50 Sumitomo-Nippon Sharyo gallery cars in December 2007 and a $72.5 million FRA loan helped finance another 50.


Construction continues on Hampton Roads Transit’s 7.4-mile, $338 million LRT starter line, The Tide. Siemens is supplying nine S70s cars under a $36 million contract.


The Charlotte Area Transit System’s $463 million, 15-station line stretches from Center City to Interstate 485 and is operated with 16 Siemens S70s. Charlotte’s 2030 Transit Corridor System Plan foresees a five-corridor network with an 11-mile Blue Line extension and LRT, commuter rail, and streetcars.


In 2009, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) received the last of 218 rehabilitated heavy rail cars from Alstom. The fully-refurbished equipment is boosting reliability and lowering operating costs on the 48-mile, 38-station system. Plans for 12 miles of extensions to the subway, the 22-mile BeltLine, 16.5-mile Peachtree streetcars line, and a seven-spoke commuter rail service continue to advance.


The targeted opening for the Central Florida Commuter Rail project, known as SunRail, is now early 2013. The DMU service will operate between DeLand and Poinciana on 61.5 miles of CSXT tracks the state will purchase. Phase I entered FTA Final Design in August 2008. State and local shares of the $615 million project have been approved.


Hillsborough Area Rapid Transit is constructing a four-block extension to the 2.4-mile, 10-car TECO Line Streetcar, which will carry the line north to the heart of Tampa’s downtown. A one-cent sales tax increase has been proposed for other transit improvements, including a long-debated 21-mile LRT system.


Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) will award a contract this year for 144 cars for service on its 22-mile, 22-station Metrorail system. As Phase I of the proposed 21-mile Orange Line project, MDT will open its $523 million, 2.4-mile Airport Connection from Earlington Heights to Miami International Airport in 2012. The new airport terminal will also be served by an extension of the South Florida Regional Transportation Agency’s 72-mile, Miami-Palm Beach Tri-Rail. A 16-mile Tri-Rail Jupiter extension on Florida East Coast’s right-of-way is being studied.


The 27 Tokyu cars on the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s (NFTA) 6.2-mile surface-and-subway Metro Rail LRT line are undergoing a $32.8 million mid-life rebuild by AnsaldoBreda for extended service through 2035. Average weekday ridership of 22,300 is expected to increase with expansion of the University of Buffalo and may spark a 3.5-mile extension from South Campus terminus to North Campus.


The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s four-route, 38-mile heavy rail (Red Line) and light rail (Blue, Green and Waterfront lines) system will benefit from major rehabilitation of the East 55th Street and Puritas stations, begun in 2009.


The Chicago Transit Authority has a 2010-2014 capital program calling for $2.8 billion to eliminate slow zones, overhaul the fleet, and bring the system to a state of good repair. The $530 million Brown Line Capacity Expansion Project was completed in January. Red, Orange, and Yellow line extensions are planned, as is a new Circle Line combining rebuilt and new elevated segments in an outer loop linking all CTA and Metra rail lines. Prototype cars arrived in late 2009 from a $674 million, 406-car Bombardier order; another 300 may be ordered.

Metra averaged 315,000 weekday boardings on its 11-line rail network in its third quarter. Still unfunded is Metra’s $1.5 billion Suburban Transit Access Route, a 55-mile outer belt DMU service. Also proposed is a $500 million, 32-mile SouthEast DMU on Metra’s Rock Island and UP/CSX lines.

The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District is upgrading its 90-mile electric South Shore Line (SSL). Major components are new catenary, signals, and CTC covering 75.5 miles from South Bend to the connection with Metra Electric. Purchase of 14 gallery EMUs from Nippon Sharyo/Sumitomo for $51 million has boosted the SSL fleet from 68 to 82 cars.


Metro Transit’s 12-mile Hiawatha LRT opened an extension to the downtown Minneapolis terminal of the Northstar commuter rail line in November and the 11-mile Central Corridor LRT was approved by the FTA for final design. When completed in 2014, the line will link the downtowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Service on the 40-mile, six-station Northstar commuter rail line began on November 16 over BNSF track from Big Lake to downtown Minneapolis. The fleet consists of six MPXpress locomotives and 18 Bombardier BiLevel cars.


St. Louis’ two-line, 46-mile MetroLink LRT system has put on hold Phase III of the $676 million, eight-mile Cross County LRT, which would extend the line 5.3 miles to MidAmerica Airport. But local planners and politicians are proposing service restoration and expansion under the Moving Transit Forward plan, which would add eight LRT extensions and two new commuter rail services.


Low average daily ridership of 800 on Nashville’s Music City Star East Corridor commuter rail service has chilled plans for the development of a five-line system.


Average daily ridership on the Memphis Area Transit Authority’s three-line downtown streetcar system increased 13% to 4,100 boardings in the third-quarter 2009. Still stalled is a build-out plan to create a three-line regional LRT system.


The Central Arkansas Transit Authority’s 2.5-mile River Rail streetcar system, connecting downtown with North Little Rock, has awarded a $736,500 contract for the expansion of its carhouse to accommodate its five-car Gomaco Birney replica fleet and three additional cars. A 2.5-mile extension to Little Rock National Airport has been proposed.


The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority and Brookville Equipment Corp. are completing the full rebuilding of the last of 31 Riverfront and Canal cars. A $45 million TIGER grant will cover the full cost of the 1.5-mile Union Passenger Terminal/Loyola Loop addition to the three-line system.


Dallas Area Rapid Transit opened the first section of the 28-mile Green Line in September as part of an expansion plan to double the LRT system to 90 miles by 2013. Work is under way on the Blue Line eastern extension from Garland to Rowlett. The Blue Line extension south from Ledbetter Station to the University of North Texas and a second line in the Dallas CBD are in the works.

increased 1.5% to 2.8 million in FY 09. Three GO Transit F59 locomotives were acquired for overhaul in FY 10. Four new bi-level coaches were delivered in January.


The 7.5-mile METRORail Red Line LRT reported more than 31,000 average weekday boardings in 2009. The 30-mile, $2 billion plan for five additional lines and a Red Line extension is moving forward. Construction of the East End LRT began in 2008 and will be completed in late 2012. Groundbreaking for the North and Southeast lines occurred on July 13 and both have been received FTA New Starts funding recommendations. The 11.3-mile University line has received FTA approval to proceed to preliminary engineering.


Capital MetroRail Red Line DMU service begins on March 1 between downtown Austin and Leander with weekday peak service to nine stations along the 32-mile line. Capital Metro is seeking federal funding for increased passenger and freight capacity.


The 35-mile Denver Regional Transportation District LRT system averaged 61,800 weekday riders in the third quarter of 2009. RTD is proceeding with FasTracks, a multi-billion-dollar program to build 122 miles of commuter rail and LRT by 2017. Construction is under way on the 12-mile, $708 million West Corridor LRT from downtown to Golden and a 2013 opening is expected. Commuter rail has been selected for the East Corridor to Denver International Airport, the Gold Line to Wheat Ridge, the Northwest Rail Corridor to Boulder and Longmont, and the North Metro Corridor to Broomfield. LRT projects include the I-225 Corridor through Aurora, the downtown Central Corridor improvement project, the Southwest Corridor Highlands Ranch extension, and the Southeast Corridor Lone Tree extension.


The Utah Transit Authority’s (UTA) continues to expand service with the $2.4 billion FrontLines 2015 program. The program includes four new light rail lines and a 45-mile commuter rail extension. Three of the four light rail lines are currently under construction: the 10.6-mile Mid-Jordan line, the 5.1-mile West Valley line, and the 6-mile Airport line that will connect downtown Salt Lake City to the International Airport. The 3.5-mile extension of the North-South line into the City of Draper should break ground in 2011. A new 45-mile rail line from Salt Lake City to Provo is also under construction. The program includes orders for 77 new low floor LRT cars, 18 bi-level commuter cars, and 11 locomotives.


The 96-mile New Mexico Rail Runner Express commuter rail system was completed on Dec. 17, 2008, with the extension of the Phase I Belen-Albuquerque operation to Santa Fe.


The agency opened its 19.6-mile, $1.4 billion LRT starter line Dec. 27, 2008. METRO served an average of 34,000 weekday riders in 2009. The line, served by 50 Kinkisharyo cars, runs from north-central Phoenix through downtown Phoenix and Tempe, and ends one mile into Mesa. Analysis has begun for future extensions to the starter line; the region’s 20-year transportation plan calls for 57 miles of high capacity transit by 2030.


Building on its Old Pueblo Trolley service, Tucson was awarded a $63 million TIGER grant for its 3.9-mile modern streetcar project. The $177.5 million project will link the University Medical Center with the west side of the Santa Cruz River via downtown. Seven Skoda Astra streetcars have been ordered from Oregon Iron Works, Inc.


The Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) placed a $205.2 million order in September for 57 Siemens low-floor cars for its 53.5-mile San Diego Trolley system. The 11-mile, $939 million Mid-Coast Line from Old Town to the University of California San Diego in La Jolla is planned.

In February 2010, the North County Transit District (NCTD) celebrated its 15th anniversary of its the 41-mile San Diego-Oceanside Coaster service.

NCTD’s 22-mile Sprinter service has been operating for over two years using 12 Siemens Desiro DMUs from Escondido to the Oceanside Transit Center.


The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is managing a 61.7-mile LRT system and a 17.4-mile heavy rail subway. Metro opened its six-mile, $899 million Gold Line Eastside Extension, from Union Station to East Los Angeles via Little Tokyo/Arts District. A 23.6-mile Gold Line Foothills Extension to Montclair is in planning and a $458 million contract awarded for the first 11.4 miles to Azusa. Metro’s $862.3 million Exposition Line LRT to Culver City is slated to open in 2011. The 8.6-mile line will run west from the Blue Line to Washington and National Boulevards. Metro has 34 of 50 AnsaldoBreda cars for the line and Phase II will extend it to Santa Monica.

Under environmental review are the Purple Line “Subway to the Sea” extension, a downtown Blue-to-Gold LRT connection, and an Eastside Gold Line Whittier extension. Environmental reviews are complete for the 10-mile Crenshaw LRT from Wilshire Blvd. to El Segundo Blvd.

Southern California Regional Rail Authority’s seven-route, 512-mile Metrolink rail network served 40,300 riders per weekday in 2009. Prompted by the 2008 Chatsworth collision, a $4.3 million automatic train stop system is being installed as a precursor to full PTC. Under a $211.9 million contract, Metrolink has begun receiving 107 Rotem bilevel cab cars and trailers, the first U.S. cars with crash energy management technology. The existing 136 Bombardier BiLevels will be retrofitted with energy absorbing push-back couplers and the cab cars converted to trailers.


Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s (VTA) three-line, 42.2-mile LRT system averaged 34,305 weekday boardings in 2009. A 16-mile, $5.9 billion BART Silicon Valley extension from Fremont to San Jose is projected to generate 98,000 weekday trips by 2030 and connect with VTA bus LRT, Capital Corridor, Caltrain, Amtrak, and Altamont Commuter Express. VTA is working with Caltrain on various capital improvements to the Palo Alto-Gilroy rail service, also coordinating with California High-Speed Rail Authority planning.


The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s $1.3 billion Central Subway project received a positive review as part of the FTA’s New Starts program and the FY2011 USDOT budget recommends $20 million in New Starts funding to support ongoing design work. The project has received $72 million in New Starts funding to date. The 1.7-mile Central Subway—Phase II of the Third Street LRT project—will extend the line north to Stockton and Clay Streets under 4th Street.

Bay Area Rapid Transit District weekday ridership was 357,000 in 2009. BART’s $1.3 billion Earthquake Safety Program will be completed in 2017. An $890 million, 5.4-mile extension from Fremont south to Warm Springs is expected to be complete in 2014.

Design work is well advanced for electrification of Caltrain’s San Francisco-San Jose service by 2015 using bilevel EMUs.


The San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission’s 86-mile, Stockton-San Jose Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) averaged 2,600 daily riders in 2009. ACE and the California High-Speed Rail Authority are studying a plan to upgrade rail service on a separate, dedicated line.


The Regional Transit District’s 4.3-mile, $270 million South Line Phase II expansion project is scheduled for completion in 2012. RTD is also moving forward on a 13-mile, $785 million Green Line extension to Natomas and Sacramento International Airport; a 1.1-mile section is set to open in early 2011.


TriMet’s 44.3-mile MAX light rail system continues to expand. The 8.3-mile I-205/Portland Mall MAX line opened on September 12. Phase II will build a second line 7.3 miles southeast from downtown to Milwaukie and North Clackamas County by 2015. TriMet purchased two used Budd RDCs to augment the Colorado Rail Car DMU fleet on its 14.7-mile, $166.2 million Westside Express Service. The eight-mile Portland Streetcar will add a 3.3-mile loop, a $146 million extension, in 2011.


Sound Transit’s (ST) $2.44 billion 15-mile Central Link LRT opened in July between downtown and Tukwila, followed by final extension to Sea-Tac Airport in December. An $813 million FTA Full Funding Grant Agreement cleared the way for construction of ST’s 3.1-mile University Link LRT extension from downtown to the University of Washington. The $1.7 billion line will run north from the Central Link’s Westlake terminus through the most densely populated residential and employment area in the Central Puget Sound region. Seattle's City Council endorsed a four-line, $685 million streetcar network, building on the success of the 1.3-mile South Lake Union line, which opened in 2007.

ST’s Sounder commuter rail service added a roundtrip between Seattle and Tacoma in 2009, bringing the 40-mile Seattle-Tacoma service up to nine round trips a day. The $32 million purchase of 18 miles of BNSF track south of Tacoma will support a Lakewood extension, projected for early 2012.


The South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority’s SkyTrain handles more than 240,000 weekday boardings on its 30.5-mile, two-route system. All 48 Mark II cars on order were delivered by January 2010. In August 2009, the C$1.9 billion fully automated Canada Line, with 16 stations along 12 miles, linked downtown with Vancouver International Airport and Richmond Centre using a 40-car Rotem fleet. In February 2008, a revised plan was unveiled for the Evergreen Line, a 6.9-mile, Port Moody-Coquitlam service connecting with SkyTrain. Completion is planned for 2014.


Edmonton Transit System (ETS) is completing its 4.8-mile southern LRT extension. Delivery of 37 new Siemens SD160s to serve the extension was completed. Engineering design is under way for a 2.8-mile northern extension.


Calgary Transit carried 94.2 million customers on its CTrains and buses in 2009. The CTrain’s electricity has been entirely wind generated since 2001. At 280,000 boardings every week day, Calgary’s light rail transit system carries more people than any other light rail system on the Continent. Thirty-eight new air conditioned Siemens SD160 LRVs will begin arriving in 2010. Work has begun on the new West leg of the LRT scheduled to open for service in 2012.


The Toronto Transit Commission set a ridership record of 471 million in 2009. Work has started on the C$2.6-billion extension of the Yonge-University-Spadina subway from Downsview to Vaughan. When completed in 2015, the 3.8-mile, six-station route will carry more than 80,000 riders daily. Delivery of the prototypes for the 234-car, C$473 million “Toronto Rocket” subway car order is expected early this year.

Construction began last fall on the Sheppard LRT, the first of seven lines in the C$10 billion suburban Transit City project, which will include up to 400 low-floor cars. The 76-mile Transit City system will carry 174 million riders annually. Construction begins this year on the Cherry Street streetcar line, the first in a Waterfront East sub-network of lines that will extend the reach of the 11-route inner city streetcar system. Rebuilding of the 4.2-mile St. Clair route to semi-LRT will also wrap up this summer. Bombardier won a C$851 million order for 204 low-floor cars to re-equip the existing 49-mile streetcar system.

The seven-line, 240-mile GO Transit rail network has a federal-provincial funding agreement for an order for 20 MP40 locomotives. Work continues on the multiyear improvement projects, the latter including a C$281 million signal modernization by Siemens Canada.


Ottawa City Council approved engineering and environmental review of a 7.8-mile, 13-station LRT line in January. The C$2.1 billion electrified line will link Blair in the east with Tunney’s Pasture in the west. At Bayview, it will connect with the 4.5-mile O-Train, which was launched in 2001 as North America’s first DMU light rail operation.


In 2009, the Société de Transport de Montréal (STM) Métro completed its OPUS smart card and magnetic ticketing system. Exclusive of rolling stock, C$1 billion will be invested in the Métro during the next decade. Soon to be awarded is a 765-car order to replace the entire Métro fleet.

Agence Métropolitaine de Transport’s five-line regional system has design work in progress for the C$400 million, 36-mile Train de l’Est, which will link Central Station with 11 new stations in northeast Montréal using Bombardier dual-power (diesel/a.c. catenary) locomotives and Multilevel cars. The C$386 million, 160-car Multilevel order will boost system capacity 70% by 2015. In February, Bombardier won a three-year, C$34 million contract for maintenance of the fleet employed on the Dorion-Rigaud, Delson-Candiac and Blainville-St. Jerome services.

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