Industry News - June 2013

Light Rail Trains Powered by Wind

Metro Transit had a three-car consist of new Siemens LRVs that were powered exclusively by wind energy recently in recognition of Earth Day.

Using Xcel Energy’s Windsource program, Metro Transit purchased about 71,000 kilowatt-hours of wind-generated electricity – about a day’s worth of the power required to operate the light-rail line.

The “wind-powered train” is one component of Metro Transit’s six-year-old Go Greener initiative to conserve energy and reduce emissions. The Go Greener commitment includes the replacement of about 15 percent of Metro Transit’s bus fleet with hybrid-electric models and energy-saving capital investments at the agency’s six bus facilities. Together those efforts netted more than $4 million in fuel and utilities savings in 2012 as well as contributing to a cleaner, healthier Twin Cities environment. 

Bombardier Wins New Order from Transport for London

Bombardier Transportation signed a contract with Transport for London (TfL) to provide 57 additional Bombardier Electrostar rail cars for the London Overground network. The new cars will be used to turn existing four-car trains into five-car trains and the new units will be supported under an existing maintenance contract.

The 75 mph Class 378 units are specially designed for suburban operations with passenger comfort and safety in mind. The vehicles also include CCTV and air conditioning.

Delivery of the cars will start in late 2014 and finish in 2015.

MTA No. 7 Subway Line Extension Receives Honor

The New York Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE) selected the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s No. 7 Subway Line Extension as its 2013 Construction Project of the Year.

The $2.4B project is extending the New York City No. 7 Line Subway 1.5 miles from its current terminus at Times Square to a new terminal station at West 34th Street and Eleventh Avenue.

Parsons Brinckerhoff is the permanent works designer of the No. 7 Line Extension, providing final design services to the MTA, including all geotechnical, civil, structural, architectural, mechanical, electrical and communications elements; preparation of all contract documents; and design support during construction.

The project is scheduled for completion in June 2014.

Nippon Sharyo Expands of Rochelle Production Facility

Nippon Sharyo Ltd. and Nippon Sharyo USA Inc. announced the expansion of its U.S. production facility in Rochelle, Ill., which started operation in June 2012. The expansion involves construction of a new building for the metal fabrication and machining production.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion to include a third shop was held in Rochelle. In the new facility, major parts and components for the car body will be manufactured using U.S. made raw material. Continuous lean production process from raw material to the complete car body under the strict production and quality control is expected to lower the overall cost.

TriMet Light Rail Vehicles to be Retrofitted with Energy-Saving System

Maxwell Technologies Inc. is supplying ultracapacitors for an energy-saving braking energy recuperation system that American Maglev Technology (AMT), is installing on 27 light rail vehicles operated by the Portland, Oregon area’s Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District (TriMet).

TriMet won a $4.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Transit Investment for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) program to improve the efficiency of its fleet of 101 light rail vehicles equipped with regenerative braking after determining that the vehicles were able to use only about 70 percent of the energy generated by braking.

Durham Partners with INIT for Installation of Fleet Management System

The Regional Municipality of Durham on behalf of Durham Region Transit (DRT) has recently partnered with INIT for the installation of an intermodal fleet management system. DRT has a fixed-route fleet of 205 vehicles, which includes 26 Pulse bus rapid transit vehicles.

When complete, the service will feature an intelligent transportation system. transit signal priority improvements to six major intersections, two new or expanded maintenance storage and operations facilities, and a control center.

The complete INIT system will include onboard computers, touchscreen driver terminals, planning software, statistics and reporting software and onboard passenger information displays and announcements. INIT will also replace the DRT’s existing scheduling software.

The T Launches City-Wide Bike-Share Program in Fort Worth

The Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) has become the first transit agency in the United States to develop a bike share program, as Fort Worth B-Cycle officially rolled out more than 300 bikes and nearly 30 bike stations throughout central Fort Worth.

The bike-sharing initiative began as part of a strategic plan to provide commuters and visitors with an easy and “green” way to travel short distances around the city and to cover the last mile to and from its transit services. With encouragement from the city of Fort Worth, the transportation authority developed the program with 11 other funding partners. The T received nearly $1M in grant funding from the Federal Transit Administration in 2012 to purchase the Bike Share Stations, after which the 501c3 Fort Worth Bike Sharing was spun off by The T to manage the program.

APTA BUS & Paratransit Conference

New Flyer Introduces MiDi

The New Flyer MiDi is a medium-sized, low-floor bus that is ideal for use in medium-duty transit, community shuttle services and for connecting passengers to high-frequency transit routes. It is available in a 30- and 35-foot length. The streamlined design offers passengers excellent accessibility with one or two doors, a 1:6  slope wheelchair ramp and greater maneuverability.

As a robust medium-sized bus, the MiDi keeps up with its rigorous duty-cycle counterparts. Its purpose-built, weight-optimized steel chassis and aluminum body structure provide a durable, more fuel-efficient bus designed for a 10-year, 350,000-mile life.

Complete Coach Works Launches ZEPS

CCW launched an all-electric transit bus called the ZEPS Bus – zero emission propulsion system — which is a remanufactured transit bus providing a viable alternative to fossil fuels. ZEPS is designed to offer a recycled bus which reduces landfill pollution, conserve raw material resources and be a fraction of the cost of a new bus.

The remanufactured all-electric bus provides completely new interiors and customized color schemes to match your existsing fleet. Lightweight composite flooring, accompanied with an efficient electric drivetrain essentially cuts total interior noise by half and completely eliminates noise when stopped.

Nova Unveils Capital Metro LFX Bus

Nova Bus is providing 22 Nova LFX buses with options for an additional 58 vehicles in different configurations for Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority in Austin, Texas.

The vehicles feature Nova’ eCooling system, hePEX tubing system and the latest interior designing. The eCooling system is fully integrated and positioned on the rooftop to keep out dirt and debris. The HePEX tubing system has been used instead of copper tubes and the “heat-and-plug” components minimize costs and parts inventory and are four times less expensive than copper parts.