First Look: SacRT’s New Siemens Mobility S700Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) this month received the first of 28 light rail vehicles (S700) from Siemens Mobility in south Sacramento, Calif.
In April 2020, SacRT and Siemens Mobility started executing contracts for the cars’ purchase, including an option for up to 76 more, to replace older cars that have reached the end of their useful life. They were the first orders from SacRT since the late 1980s, when it selected Siemens to provide 36 U2A vehicles.
According to the transit agency, the low-floor LRVs “will provide easier access at every doorway, a spacious seating design, and large windows for better light and views. They will feature improved accessibility with wider aisles and areas for bicycles.”
Following static, dynamic and burn-in testing, the first LRVs will be ready for revenue service in summer 2024, SacRT reported.
The new low-floor cars are part of SacRT’s Light Rail Modernization Project, which includes station modifications to accommodate the new low-floor vehicles.
The station platforms are required to be at least eight inches above the top of track to allow for a ramp to deploy from the LRV to the station platform with the proper slope for passengers to board, according to SacRT (see image above). Most stations (48 of 53) serving the light rail system do not have platforms meeting that requirement and will need to be raised with the addition of concrete. The entire Gold Line is expected to be updated for the new cars by summer 2024.
The Gold Line’s 59th Street Station will be modified first, and additional stations will be worked on in phases, the transit agency reported Jan. 31.
The Light Rail Modernization Project also includes adding a passing track to provide 15-minute service to Folsom-area stations.