Illinois, California Cars On The Horizon
July 10, 2020
After nearly a decade’s delays, new coaches for Illinois Dept. of Transportation services are expected to begin shipping in August, according to the minutes of the Section 305 Next Generation Equipment Committee teleconference.
Fifty-one cars of the original 130-car order are in production right now at Siemens’ Sacramento facility. Siemens has delivered nine to Caltrans at Stockton, and another two were slated for delivery on June 30.
Rail Passengers Board Vice Chair David Randall, who oversees equipment issues at the Association, notes that it’s important and long-awaited progress.
“The Horizon and Amfleet I cars are simply getting weary,” Randall said. “The ‘gun turret’ windows don’t comply with the Federal Railroad Administration safety regulation that requires windows be 24” high so that folks can evacuate themselves in case of an accident.”
There’s no indication yet when the new cars will enter service. The NGEC minutes say that the “project teams continue to monitor potential production and schedule impacts due to the coronavirus and are receiving frequent updates from SCOA and Siemens.”
"When [NARP] comes to Washington, you help embolden us in our efforts to continue the progress for passenger rail. And not just on the Northeast Corridor. All over America! High-speed rail, passenger rail is coming to America, thanks to a lot of your efforts! We’re partners in this. ... You are the ones that are going to make this happen. Do not be dissuaded by the naysayers. There are thousands of people all over America who are for passenger rail and you represent the best of what America is about!"
Secretary Ray LaHood, U.S. Department of Transportation
2012 NARP Spring Council Meeting