Tempe Streetcar Receives First Brookville Liberty® NXTWritten by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
Brookville Equipment Corp. has delivered the first new Liberty® NXT streetcars to Valley Metro Rail for the Tempe Streetcar system, slated to open later this year.
The 72-foot-long vehicle is part of a $33 million design-build-test contract for streetcars for the three-mile, 14-station system, which will connect downtown Tempe, Arizona State University and the emerging employment corridor of Rio Salado Parkway. The Streetcar also connects existing light rail serving Phoenix, Mesa and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The total project cost is $192.4 million, including $75 million in FTA infrastructure grants.
Like the previous iteration of the Liberty® Streetcar, the Liberty® NXT will utilize a lithium-ion battery onboard energy storage system (OESS) to operate on sections of the alignment without an overhead catenary system (OCS). The streetcar’s batteries stay charged with OCS traction power.
The Liberty® NXT features a three-section articulated carbody, more than 70% available low-floor standing area, station-level boarding achieved through an automatic load leveling system, seating for 40 passengers, and total capacity of 120 passengers. Its crashworthy frame is designed in compliance with ASME RT-1 standards for streetcar vehicles and California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) buff strength requirements. The Liberty NXT also complies with Buy America requirements of 70% or greater U.S. content. “It’s an exciting time for us,” said Scott Smith, Valley Metro CEO. “The delivery of the first streetcar vehicle opens up a new chapter for regional transit in the Valley.”
“We are elated to deliver the first Liberty® NXT Streetcar vehicle to our friends at Valley Metro Rail,” said Brookville Vice President of Business Development Joel McNeil. “These vehicles integrate the latest in rail technology systems and are designed and manufactured by an American workforce to provide a long-term transit solution for one of the most prestigious transit agencies in the U.S., Valley Metro Rail. We look forward to continuing to support Valley Metro with the delivery of five additional Liberty NXT Streetcar vehicles and assisting its team as it strives toward the monumental achievement of revenue service for this all-new system later this year.”
Tempe will become the fifth city to operate Brookville’s off-wire-capable Liberty® Streetcars, which are currently in service at DART (four vehicles), QLINE Detroit (six vehicles), Oklahoma City Streetcar (seven vehicles), and The Hop in Milwaukee (five vehicles). In addition to the six Liberty® NXT Streetcars for Valley Metro, the company is producing five similar vehicles for Sound Transit’s Line T and three for Portland Streetcar.