US-based commuter rail service Caltrain has unveiled new electric train cars as part of its Caltrain Electrification Project.
The electric train cars are scheduled to start operations in 2024, after tests to validate working order are completed on the trains and related infrastructure.
Built by Stadler US, at its facility in Utah, the trains have so far been trialled for braking, propulsion, ride quality, and Positive Train Control and Electromagnetic Interference.
The new vehicles feature advanced amenities such as digital onboard displays, adequate power outlets, energy-efficient lighting, coat hooks, security cameras, and increased storage under the seats.
Each trainset will comprise seven cars.
The trains are claimed to generate less noise, as well as accelerate and decelerate faster compared to their diesel-run versions.
US Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “The arrival of these new electric trains marks an exciting step toward providing greener, easier transportation options for Californians.
“Caltrain’s electrification initiative will mean quieter neighbourhoods, cleaner air and faster commutes for working families.”
Initiated in 2017, Caltrain’s Electrification Project seeks to replace diesel-hauled trains on the corridor from San Francisco Station to Tamien Station in San Jose.
The project will also support net-zero goals by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion, as well as improving air quality.
The project is expected to set the framework for California’s future High-Speed Rail network.
In December 2021, the cost of the Electrification Project increased from $1.98bn to $2.44bn due to a settlement with contractor Balfour Beatty.