Railcar Replacement

 Railcar Replacement


GCRTA's heavy and light railcars are 38 and 41 years-old and have exceeded their useful lives. They require an increasing amount of time and money to be properly maintained and ready for service. Due to their age, replacement parts are difficult to obtain and the technology and components within the railcars are obsolete.


The $393 million program will replace our 40 car heavy railcars and 34 light railcars with 60 common railcars that will serve both the heavy rail and light rail systems. This common car will allow us to serve our customers with fewer railcars and only have one fleet of railcars to maintain. The result will be new safer, reliable, and technologically advanced railcars for our customers for the next 30+ years at a lower life-cycle cost. Replacing our railcars will promote increased ridership and encourage private transit-oriented development along our 33-mile rail system.


From a performance standpoint, the new rail cars should decrease our maintenance costs to pre-2010 levels, saving GCRTA $7 million per year in maintenance costs, and allowing GCRTA to have enough vehicles available to make pull-out every day. The new railcars will increase the miles between service interruptions from the current 10,000 to over 80,000 miles.


In addition to the new railcars, the total program cost includes the railcar design, inspection and testing, spare parts, modifications to the Central Rail and Brookpark maintenance facilities, modifications to existing rail station platforms, and safety certification.


The design and specification for the new rail cars started on March 2, 2020, and has been completed by Hatch. The railcar manufacturer contract was awarded Siemens Mobility on April 18, 2023. The initial car is to be supplied by June 26, 2026, with the 24th car to be accepted for service by June 26, 2027.


Key operational features of the new common railcars include as the first High floor LRV built to new crash design standards, ice cutter pantograph on every train, heated windshield and pantograph, load leveling system to adjust floor height, and dedicated HVAC unit for operator cab. The interior will feature 52 passenger seats, 4 wheelchair stations, 2 bicycle racks, comfortable air flow, reduced interior noise, high visibility interior message signs, large passenger windows, and maintenance friendly floor design.


As of December 31, 2023, GCRTA has been awarded and/or obtained commitments totaling $355.3 million toward the $393 million total program cost. Funds include awards and commitments from the FTA Rail Vehicle Replacement grant, FTA Federal Formula Funding, USDOT BUILD, Congressionally Directed Funding, Community Project Funding, ODOT, NOACA as well as GCRTA’s self-funded Rolling Stock Replacement Fund.