Siemens to Supply LRV for Denver
Siemens has been awarded to build additional light rail vehicles (LRV) for Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) and Metro Transit, which serves the Twin Cities region.
The over 110 million USD contract expands the Siemens’ fleet operating on the RTD light rail system by further 29 SD-160 type LRV’s. This order will bring the number of Siemens light rail vehicles to over 200 vehicles. The delivery of five additional S70 type LRV’s to the Twin Cities region, will add the existing 59 Siemens LRV’s currently in operation on the Metro Green and Blue lines, which serve the cities of St. Paul, Minneapolis and Bloomington. This order is worth around 20 million USD. All light rail vehicles will be built at the Siemens rail manufacturing facility in Sacramento, California. The RTD new vehicles are set to be delivered early 2018.
“Our partnerships with Denver and the Twin Cities are great examples to show how riders and the local economy in regions can benefit from a light rail system. With almost 1,300 light rail vehicles in operation throughout North America, Siemens has established a reputation for reliability,” said Jochen Eickholt, CEO Siemens Mobility Division.
Denver is well known as one of the best cities in the US for public transportation. Denver opened its light rail system with Siemens vehicles in 1994. The success and the increase in overall ridership over the years have prompted Denver to expand their fleet in the past years. The new order further extends the 22-year relationship between Siemens and RTD. The new vehicles will be completely interoperable with the current system, allowing Denver RTD to achieve lower operational and maintenance costs that should continue the agencies ongoing cost savings that over the years has likely totaled millions of dollars for RTD and its taxpayers and passengers.
“This latest rail vehicle procurement continues our partnership with Siemens to provide the high-quality rail service our passengers have come to expect and depend upon,” said David Genova, RTD’s Interim General Manager and CEO. “Operating a fleet of similar vehicles throughout our light rail system gives us a higher level of flexibility and consistency that also helps us save costs.”
“As a public transit agency, it is important for us to use our funds wisely, while still providing excellent service to the metro region,” said RTD Board Chair Chuck Sisk “RTD looks forward to continuing our partnership with Siemens, which will also continue to save RTD and our taxpayers significant costs versus the added expense of a varied fleet that would increase maintenance, inventory, training and operations costs.”
The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul came closer together with the opening of the Metro Green Line in summer of 2014. Fifty years after streetcar service ended, the two cities were reconnected by light rail. Operated by Metro Transit, the Green Line connects residents with 23 stations, linking downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis. The new line serves the University of Minnesota and the State Capital and connects in downtown Minneapolis with the Metro Blue Line, which serves several destinations, including Target Field, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America.
The Green Line opened a decade after Metro Transit opened Minnesota’s first light-rail line, the Blue Line. Metro Transit will use the new trains to enhance service on its light rail lines, which are experiencing record ridership. The new vehicles are designed and built specific to the needs of the Twin Cities. The vehicles include improved insulation for both noise reduction and comfort during the summer and winter months, enhanced braking technology for improved safety, and internal and external LED lighting for reduced energy consumption and extended service life.
The Sacramento plant, which has been in operation for almost 30 years, is powered up to 80 percent by two megawatts of solar energy and currently employs over 800 people. Siemens is currently the leading supplier of light rail vehicles in North America.