Bombardier Transportation has emerged as the lead contender to win a $3.4bn contract to design and build 775 new bay area rapid transit (BART) rail cars, as a replacement for BART trains which are the oldest fleet of public transit trains in San Francisco, US.
Bombardier scored top in a series of technical proposals for the replacement project, ahead of Alstom, CAF USA, China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock, and Hyundai Rotem.
In May and June last year, the company received initial public input at 'seat labs', and then collaborated with BMW Group Designworks USA to develop conceptual designs for the new train cars.
The company said that the designs will continue to evolve over the next few years, to make sure that the trains are reliable, cost-effective, and comfortable for its riders.
The three types of train cars in the BART fleet include model A2/B2, model C1 and model C2, and the majority of them have been in use since the service started.
The main aim of the train car project is to obtain a BART fleet that addresses system capacity requirements and customer comfort for the next 30 years and beyond.
The trains should be designed for reliability, comfort, to carry a growing number of passengers and facilitate faster boarding at stations in the years ahead.
For the project, the company intends to finance $800m, while the Metropolitan Transportation Commission is expected to contribute about $2.4bn, according to sfexaminer.com.
In January this year, BART unveiled plans to buy 260 new rail locomotives for about $1bn in May 2012.
The new rail cars will have a modern look, easy-to-clean seats, a digital information system and a full air conditioning system. The rail cars are being purchased as part of BART's $3.2bn car replacement project, which aims to replace the agency's existing 669 cars.
Image: BART collaborated with BMW Group Designworks USA to develop conceptual designs for the new train cars. Photo: BART.