Metro unveiled the first of 78 Kinkisharyo P3010 rail cars this morning. The first pilot car will be used for testing to ensure it is fully compatible with Metro’s system and that there are no safety or technical issues before the remaining cars are delivered.
If all goes according to plan, Metro will receive its first production car in the summer of 2015. That car will be used for testing and training on the Metro Expo Line Phase II and Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension, and then placed in service when the two lines open in 2016. All 78 cars are expected to be in service by January 2017.
Take a brief tour on the pilot car with this video:
Joe: The first thing I noticed when I got on the train were the blue floor decals and blue seat designs that marked the disabled/priority seating areas. I’ve seen the blue seat design on our new buses and they’re hard to miss. There’s no doubt that this area is reserved for passengers with special needs and you should be prepared to move if you’re sitting in one of the seats.
I also see potential for the monitors that were located at the front and rear of the train. If they’re ultimately used for something informational such as digital signage, it would be an excellent and efficient use of the space.
Anna: Love the shiny new yellow, it’s very eye-catching. The seat arrangement also makes the train car feel more spacious, and more similar to the Nippon Sharyo cars on the Blue/Expo Line. I agree with Joe on the designated priority seats and can’t wait to see them in use. Not sure how I feel about the emergency door open handle being lower and located on the car wall behind the priority seating. On the one hand, it’s more accessible, which is good in case of emergency. But on the other, it’s located behind priority seating…which is reserved for those who may have mobility issues.
Thing I love the most? The extra large decal showing where the designated bicycle/luggage/stroller area is. It’s impossible to miss and makes it super easy for bicyclists to know where to go when they bring bikes on board.
Keep reading after the jump for the press release on the pilot car from Metro:
The news release from Metro:
To continue unprecedented growth in public transportation in the region and to fulfill the promise made to voters when they passed Measure R in 2008, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) today unveiled the first of 78 light rail cars for use on the expanding Metro Rail system.
The first pilot car was delivered on time by Kinkisharyo International, which will assemble all light rail vehicles for the Metro order in Palmdale, Calif.
“This pilot car is the vanguard of our expanding rail fleet. It will undergo extensive testing over a period of months and the results will be passed on to Kinkisharyo for analysis before moving forward with Metro’s initial order of 78 production vehicles,” said Metro Board Chair and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The base order of 78 rail cars was augmented after Metro exercised an option to purchase an additional 97 vehicles for a total cost of $739 million. Metro has two more options pending for an additional 60 rail vehicles. All cars in the base order of 78 are destined for the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension to Azusa and the Metro Expo Line Phase II extension to Santa Monica that are currently under construction with expected completion by summer 2016. The option cars will be used on the Metro Crenshaw/LAX Transit Line and the Metro Blue Line.
“Kinkisharyo has an excellent on-time performance and the company has committed to delivering the first production unit by summer 2015,” said Metro CEO Art Leahy. “All 78 vehicles in the base order are scheduled to be in service by January of 2017.”
The El Segundo-based Kinkisharyo International, the U.S. arm of Kinki Sharyo Co. LTD or Osaka, Japan, was awarded a contract by Metro in August 2012. The rail cars are partially constructed in Japan and shipped to Kinkisharyo’s facility in Palmdale for final assembly in compliance with Buy America contract provisions. An estimated workforce of 250 persons will be hired in the Antelope Valley to meet Metro’s order.
“Today’s delivery of the first light rail vehicle under the P3010 program demonstrates Kinkisharyo’s continuing commitment to giving Los Angeles cars that are high quality, on time, on weight, and on budget, and will serve L.A. County transit riders for decades to come,” said Teiji Tani, president of Kinkisharyo International, LLC. “We have forged a strong partnership with Metro, and we expect that this contract will further our reputation as the best light rail vehicle manufacturer in America.”
Purchase of the rail cars and expansion of the Gold and Expo lines are largely funded by Los Angeles County Measure R, a half-cent sales tax passed by 2 million voters in 2008, with additional funding from state and federal sources. Currently, Metro Rail has 88 miles of track with 80 stations and has an average of 360,000 weekday boardings. In addition to the extension of the Gold and Expo Lines, Metro is currently in construction on the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Line and the Downtown Light Rail Regional Connector with the Purple Line Extension to Westwood set to begin construction soon. Also, Metro is currently in the midst of a multi-year overhaul of the Blue Line that connects Long Beach and Los Angeles.
The Kinkisharyo P3010 is a highly advanced stainless steel vehicle specifically designed to support Metro’s complex system expansion requirements. It is a 6-axle articulated design that seats 68 persons and is capable of operating on all Metro’s existing light rail lines.