On October 13th, Bi-State Development, the group that controls Metro Transit, will hold their monthly Operations Committee meeting and vote to approve the contract with Siemens Mobility for new MetroLink trains.
The Siemens S200 light rail vehicles are currently in service on light rail lines in Calgary and will soon replace the oldest of the MetroLink vehicles (The 30 year-old Siemens SD-400 and the oldest of the SD-460s). Thanks to a $196.2 Million grant from the federal government, the 48 new trains will move MetroLink into a new era and provide passengers with an improved experience. They're expected to start arriving in 2026.
Beyond a sleeker exterior design, passengers will find the interior to be modern and inviting. LED destinations screens will assist those who are deaf in knowing where they're at on the system and what station comes next. High-quality security cameras will record the interior and exterior of the trains in the event an incident occurs. At the center of the trains, seating will face the aisle, allowing for space for bikes and wheel chairs as well as provide additional space on days when trains have a high amount of passengers on board.
It's unclear whether the new trains will also come with automated station announcements. Presently, MetroLink relies on the operators to announce the next station and what side of the train doors will open on. Because not all operators speak clearly, loud enough, or both, it poses an issue to those who have a hard time understanding.
Not all MetroLink trains will be replaced. The SD-460s, many of which were brought on in the lead up to the Blue Line beginning service in 2006, will remain in service. Those trains have recently been refreshed receiving the new exterior color scheme, LED destination signs, and refreshed seating colors.
I look forward to these new trains being in operation.
See all the renderings of the new MetroLink trains in the gallery below.