French train manufacturer Alstom has entered an agreement with the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) in the US for the supply of 60 single-level rail coach cars valued at approximately €285m ($315m).

With an expected delivery in 2026, the agreement sets the timeframe for Alstom’s “customised, sustainable, next-generation” commuter rail cars particularly developed for North America, with speeds of up to 125mph.

Alstom said the new cars will all meet the criteria of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

CTDOT commissioner Garrett Eucalitto highlighted the accessibility benefits of the new rail cars and how this partnership enhances the customer experience.

Eucalitto said: “The CTDOT Office of Rail is working hard to upgrade the trip for rail customers across Connecticut. We know [passengers] want more comfortable seats, Wi-Fi access, bike storage, and ADA accessibility, and we’re taking action on those needs with steps like this.

“We’re pleased to partner with Alstom on the order of this next generation of rail cars. This order is part of our ongoing capital program to purchase new rail cars and improve the customer experience.” 

The features of the “next-generation” rail cars include a two-by-two seating configuration with foldable tables enabling easy access for wheelchair passengers and overhead luggage racks, workstation tables, and a bicycle storage area.

Alstom Americas president Michael Keroullé said: “We are proud to be a part of this exciting new chapter for CTDOT and the people of Connecticut.

“We look forward to further building upon our relationship with CTDOT by providing extensive expertise ranging from passenger ergonomics, experience, and comfort to operational considerations and optimised maintenance practices for years to come.”

The new cars will provide CTDOT customers with a dependable and quick regional rail option, decreasing driving congestion along the region’s interstates, as well as the state’s greenhouse gas emissions for the state to fulfil its 2030 objectives.

This agreement continues Alstom’s 170-year history in the US, having supplied 12,000 new vehicles for US customers and more than 50% of signalling for North America’s railroads.