San Francisco's Shopping Spree for New Muni Cars

After winning the contract to build All Aboard Florida's locomotives and passenger cars, Siemens Sacramento manufacturing plant landed a $648 million contract much closer to home: Replacement of the San Francisco Muni Metro Breda light rail cars.
September 23, 2014, 7am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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San Francisco "Mayor Ed Lee signed a $648 million contract [on Sept. 19] with Siemens, a German manufacturer with a railcar plant in Sacramento, to build 175 new Muni Metro cars," writes Michael Cabanatuan, transportation reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. [See rendering of new light rail vehicles.]

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has options "to buy 85 more cars in 2018 to 2030," adds Cabanatuan, which would bring the total to $1.2 billion, writes Jerold Chinn of SF Bay.

"The first new cars are expected to arrive at the end of 2016, with 24 needed for the Central Subway in time for its scheduled opening in 2019," adds Cabanatuan.

Muni Metro's current light rail vehicles, made by Italian rail manufacturer Breda (now AnsaldoBreda), are experiencing "troubles with doors and their propulsion system," according to John Haley, transit director for the MTA, notes Cabanatuan.

Inside the Market Street and other tunnels, the Siemens car [see rendering of interior] will have level boarding at stations, and will accommodate low boarding platforms at street stations with steps that fold-up in the subway.

The value of Siemen's contract for production of locomotive and rail cars with All Aboard Florida was not disclosed, though Allen Young of the Sacramento Business Journal, who writes about both contracts, indicates that the total price of the Miami-to-Orlando project is $2.3 billion.

According to Siemens' press release on the San Francisco order, "(e)very third streetcar or light rail car operating in the USA today comes from Siemens."

Full Story:
Published on Sunday, September 21, 2014 in San Francisco Chronicle
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