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Bombardier’s new railcars start operating in San Francisco

The first units from a consignment of Bombardier-built railcars have begun commercial service on the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) network in the US.

The new vehicles commenced passenger services after completing a comprehensive testing programme along the BART system and receiving certification from the California Public Utilities Commission.

Bombardier is set to deliver 775 new railcars for BART’s ‘Fleet of the Future’ initiative under the deal.

A total of 20 locomotives have already been delivered from the company’s Plattsburgh facility in New York, while the remaining units are scheduled to be delivered by 2021.

BART general manager Grace Crunican said: “Some of the great new features that we are most excited for, and we know our customers will be too, are the three doors on either side for easier boarding, next stop information displays, comfortable seats, air-conditioning and, most importantly, the spaciousness.

“These cars are more energy-efficient and quieter than the old fleet.”

The new railcars are equipped with new environmentally friendly technologies and are intended to replace BART’s entire existing fleet, as well as support the network’s continued growth.

Bombardier has designed the vehicles to incorporate a variety of new features based on feedback from Bay Area citizens, which was procured via an extensive public outreach programme.

The interior layout has been redesigned to optimise the seating arrangement, while digital displays have been installed to display information for passengers.

Others new features include an automated public address system, onboard security cameras and additional doors to facilitate easier boarding.

Each railcar is powered by Bombardier MITRAC propulsion equipment, which features energy-efficient inverters and regenerative braking capabilities.

In addition to the BART system, Bombardier is engaged in the manufacture of railcars for other North American operators such as the New York City Transit,  the Société de transport de Montréal and the Toronto Transit Commission.

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