First of new light rail cars arrives at Port of Long Beach

First new Kinkisharyo light rail car arriving at the Port of Long Beach.

First new Kinkisharyo light rail car arriving at the Port of Long Beach. You can just make out the windows under the protective covering.

Exciting news! The first of the 78 Kinkisharyo light rail vehicles Metro ordered has arrived in the Port of Long Beach, less than 23 months after Kinkisharyo was given the notice to proceed in August 2012. To see the car in its unwrapped glory during testing in Japan, see video below.

In compliance with Buy America’s final assembly contract provisions, the car will be transported to the new Kinkisharyo facility in Palmdale, where final assembly and vehicle testing will take place. The car is scheduled to be shipped from the Palmdale facility to Metro by October 2014.

The new light rail vehicles will be used in support of the openings of Expo Phase II and Gold Line Foothill Extension. Metro has already exercised two of four options to buy an additional 97 vehicles to be used on other projects — the Crenshaw/LAX Line, the Regional Connector and replacement of other rail cars currently in use.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C31k4Skp5s]

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New light-rail vehicle makes its first public appearance (in Japan)

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Metro Board approves contract to purchase new light rail cars

Metro currently has four rail projects under construction: the Crenshaw/LAX Line, the second phase of the Expo Line, the Gold Line Foothill Extension and the Regional Connector and work is expected to begin soon on the Purple Line Extension’s first phase. All are funded in part by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax increase approved by L.A. County voters in 2008. In addition, Metro has begun receiving the first of 550 new state-of-the-art buses and is spending $1.2 billion to overhaul the Metro Blue Line, including the purchase of new light rail vehicles..

11 replies

  1. I have no words for this other than “awesome”.

    Also, is it just me or does it look like the metal skid the car is bolted to is tilted away from the camera? Given how I’ve seen forklift operators drive before, it wouldn’t surprise me if they were moving fast enough to cause a slight tilt.

    Just as long as they don’t tip any cars over. We don’t need any more delays.

  2. Its great to see the new fleet but I like San Francisco’s new LRV vehicles bing built by Siemens. They look more modern

  3. Fantastic! And they did not have to be flown to North America by the manufacturer in order to meet a deadline.

  4. Alex,

    The Siemens P2000s used on the Green, Blue and Expo lines also look modern, but I would rather have a reliable, if slightly less modern looking, train than one with controls that break down frequently if the train is operated at slower speeds as the P2000s tend to.

  5. Alex, the cars for Muni have not been built. The pictures you have seen are artistic impressions albeit now done on very realistic looking software packages. Wait to see what the finished cars look like.

  6. sgvmikela, the powers that be, in their infinite wisdom, have dismantled our industrial base and sent it overseas. We can’t make anything anymore.

  7. Morrison Knudson was building rail cars but were underbid by foreign corporations. If the feds would 0nly enforce “made in the U.S.” not assembled in order to give out money we would be a lot better off. That includes autos and trucks and anything else that is produced here.

  8. I am basing my opinion off cars Siemens has already built. Siemens includes larger windows, more modern design, innovative led lighting, while the new Kinkisharyo Rail Cars have small windows and look pretty old.

  9. Whether a car looks old or new, the important thing is that it runs reliably. It’s my belief that most transit passengers don’t care what the car looks like–space age or wooden interurban, they just want to get where they’re going on time and in reasonable comfort.