Alstom unveiled its new Citadis Spirit light-rail vehicle for the North American market during the 2013 American Public Transportation Association Rail Conference in Philadelphia. Company executives emphasized that the Citadis Spirit builds upon the experience of more than 1,700 Citadis light rail vehicles in service worldwide. They also pointed out that with more than 30 cities in the U.S. and Canada planning new light rail or streetcar systems, the vehicle includes unique features to satisfy the transit needs and support the economic development goals of North American cities.
Those features include a 100 percent low-floor design and the ability to operate at speeds of up to 65 mph. Hence, the Citadis Spirit is versatile and can provide both a streetcar service in mixed traffic as well as a commuter service on dedicated infrastructure. Its low-floor boarding and interior, which is free of steps, provides better accessibility as well as a safer and more comfortable ride to users of all walks and ages. The vehicle also is totally modular in length and can be expanded as a city’s transportation needs grow over time. Additionally, the Citadis Spirit can be paired with one of Alstom’s off-wire power supply systems to preserve historic cityscapes and minimize impacts on the environment.
Prior to addressing an audience of transit agencies, consultants and engineering firms, Alstom Transportation’s President, Guillaume Mehlman, underscored that “in developing the Citadis Spirit, we recognized that every city has a unique ambition for public transportation and an expectation that our mobility solutions boost sustainable economic development. With this vehicle’s versatility and modularity, Alstom is able to respond to those expectations as they evolve over time. Our Design & Styling department can also customize the train’s interior and exterior design to embody each city’s unique character. Each new Citadis Spirit will be shaped by and a reflection of the community it serves.”
Citadis Spirit will be manufactured in North America as of 2015. Its design and manufacturing process are very modular and flexible, allowing final assembly to be localized close to end-users and municipalities.
In February 2013, Alstom announced its first order for the Citadis Spirit through a contract to deliver 34 vehicles, 21 vehicles in option, and 30 years of maintenance services to the city of Ottawa for its new light-rail transit system. The vehicles delivered to Ottawa will be a high-capacity version of the Spirit with a total length of 160 feet.