Topics of Rolling Stock
December 16, 2010
Nippon Sharyo, LTD.
On December 15, SMART (Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit), the transit organization that was established to bring passenger rail to Sonoma and Marin counties in Northern California, awarded a contract to Nippon Sharyo and SCOA for 18 DMUs. This base order is worth USD 56.8 million; and the contract includes options for 146 more.
Sonoma and Marin counties are located north of San Francisco, and are part of the area known as North Bay. The SMART rail line will offer an alternative to Highway 101 traffic in the North Bay Area. There will be two types of cars, with each type comprising one-half of a two-car unit called a Married Pair. Each Married Pair will be 170 feet long and will feature a bathroom, a service bar and bicycle storage. The interior space will meet ADA requirements; and each Married Pair will have seating for 156 passengers. Delivery is scheduled to finish by the end of 2014.
In the face of worsening road traffic congestion and environmental concerns, transit organizations increasingly consider passenger rail in their overall plans. A rail transit system centered on DMU service offers an attractive option, with its relatively low infrastructure cost and high flexibility to respond to increasing ridership demands. However, no DMU that meets the latest FRA carbody strength requirements and EPA emission standards has been available to the North-American market.
Nippon Sharyo recognized an opportunity, and developed a fully-compliant DMU to sell in North America.
These DMUs for SMART (and others to follow) will be produced in Nippon Sharyo’s new manufacturing facility in Rochelle, Illinois.
This first-ever FRA and EPA Tier-4-compliant, new standard DMU is a formidable addition to Nippon Sharyo and SCOA’s North-American product line, which also includes gallery-type commuter cars and semi-high-speed intercity cars.
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