For San Diego, 45 more S70s

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
San Diego Interior photo 0

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) has awarded Siemens a contract for 45 new S70 light rail vehicles, bringing the total number of Siemens LRVs supplied to MTS since 1981 to 244. MTS is Siemens’ largest U.S. LRV customer.

The new S70s will allow service enhancements on existing rail lines and provide the necessary LRVs to operate the 11-mile extension of the UC San Diego Blue Line, now under construction.

MTS recently sold or retired 71 Siemens U-2 LRVs, which were the original vehicles on the first modern light rail system in the U.S. The original 15-mile segment from the International Border to downtown San Diego has since grown to more than 53 miles of double-tracked railway that serves the entire urbanized area of San Diego.

San Diego Interior photo 0The S70 features a redesigned vehicle mid-section to improve passenger flow, including greater wheelchair accessibility and bicycle storage. MTS will use 36 LRVs on its Mid-Coast Trolley expansion, a new service to help manage current and future travel demand to and from the University City community. The remaining nine vehicles will be used to increase frequency on the UC San Diego Blue and Orange lines. The first vehicles are expected to arrive in late 2018.

The S70s will be built at the Siemens rail manufacturing hub in Sacramento, Calif. The plant, which has been in operation for almost 30 years, is powered in part by two megawatts of solar energy and currently employs nearly 1,000 people. Siemens is currently the largest supplier of LRVs in North America. “Our relationship with Siemens is a true partnership,” said MTS CEO Paul Jablonski. “We work together at every step to design the best-possible vehicle for our system and, more important, our riders.”

“Siemens is proud to continue our 35-year relationship with MTS by being chosen to build these advanced technology light rail vehicles for the city of San Diego,” said Siemens Rolling Stock President Michael Cahill. “These California-built vehicles will help continue MTS’ legacy of outstanding service to its riders and help accommodate riders on their growing rail system.”





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