NEWARK, N.J. — NJ Transit’s latest passenger equipment order has a new wrinkle on the agency’s equipment needs.
The agency on Wednesday approved a 113-car, $669 million order for bilevel cars with Canadian builder Bombardier, with future options to purchase an additional 636 cars, along with 250 cars intended for Philadelphia-area operator SEPTA.
Addressing trains operating at capacity, limited station platform length, and the need to replace Arrow III EMUs that are over 40 years old, the new Multilevel III equipment will be fully compatible and interoperable with existing Bombardier bilevels to create self-propelled electric multiple unit trains in a single fleet that can operate without locomotives.
The initial order will include 58 power cars, 33 cab cars, 16 trailer cars and six restroom-equipped trailer cars. The new equipment will combine EMU and push-pull technology for hybrid consists that the agency says will be more reliable, with lower costs and maintenance requirements. Operational flexibility will allow shorter trains on branch lines as well as longer trains operating on the Northeast Corridor. The bilevel equipment will offer 11 percent more seating than the single-level Arrow IIIs, while offering 2-2 seating as opposed to the Arrows’ unpopular 3-2 seats.
A video showing features of the new cars is available here.
Other features include USB ports, an infotainment system, LED lighting, power restroom doors, and on-board cameras. LTK Engineering Services, Inc. will assist NJ Transit in design and engineering for the equipment for a $42-million contract.
Bombardier was selected to build the equipment over Chinese state rail company CRRC.