Thursday, November 15, 2012

First four Metra “Highliner” cars arrive

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Chicago-based Metra Wednesday touted the arrival of the first four "Highliner" cars on the property, built by Nagoya, Japan-based Nippon Sharyo, in conjunction with Sumitomo Corp. of America.

Assembled for completion at Nippon Sharyo's Rochelle, Ill., plant, the double-decker electric multiple-unit (EMU) cars are the first of 160 that will augment and replace Metra's existing fleet of 145 electric cars dating to the 1970s.

The cars will run on Metra's Electric District Line, running 32 miles from Millennium Station (formerly Randolph Street Station) south to University Park (and two branch termini). The line handles roughly 36,000 riders per day. Unlike most rail routes in the Metra system, Metra owns the line.

Metra noted the first 80 car shells are being built in Japan and shipped to the Rochelle plant for completion. The remaining 80 will be entirely manufactured at the Illinois plant, which opened in July. Nippon Sharyo had previously outsourced the final assembly of its passenger cars to Milwaukee-based Super Steel.

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