GCRTA Board Members Approve Request to Purchase New Rail Cars

Apr 18, 2023

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) Board Members unanimously voted to approve the Rail Car Replacement Team’s recommendation of Siemens Mobility Incorporated as the preferred vendor to replace their aging rail fleet during the April 18, 2023, GCRTA Board meeting.

“I am overjoyed for my team, and our customers regarding this pivotal achievement,” said GCRTA General Manager, Chief Executive Officer India L. Birdsong Terry.  “Today’s approval by the GCRTA Board Trustees underscores the importance of public transportation to our region and subsequent investment in our communities. Together, we move forward in strengthening our transportation network and associated infrastructure,” added Terry.

The approval initiates the process of awarding a contract to Siemens Mobility Incorporated for the purchase of 24 Siemens Model S200 rail cars, with the option to purchase up to a total of 60 cars in the future.  The new rail cars are modeled after a fleet currently used by Calgary Transit, located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

New rail car features include:
• High floor light rail vehicles with two-door heights for high and low level platform accessibility that provides the ability for the trains to operate on all rail lines.
• Advance infotainment system for enhanced digital and travel experience.
• Modern operator cab area with dedicated HVAC unit, heated windshield, and enhanced visibility.
• Ice cutter pantographs installed on every car.
• 52 passenger seats, four wheelchair areas, and two bicycle rack locations per rail car.

“Siemens looks forward to working with GCRTA and the community in bringing these new rail cars to Cleveland. It’s truly a historic moment,” said Siemens Mobility Inc., North America President of Rolling Stock, Michael Cahill.

“Next steps are getting to work in gathering all of the design input needed to get these cars built, and we look forward to a great working relationship with GCRTA,” added Cahill.

An additional acknowledgement of the generational impact of the resolution occurred during the Board Meeting when President Charles P. Lucas acknowledged how his father, Charles P. Lucas, Sr., as the first RTA (formerly Cleveland Transit System) African American Board President would have been incredibly proud about what was accomplished today, and his son’s role in helping bring it all to fruition.

“This is a historic moment in RTA’s history that will usher in a new era of mobility for rail transportation in Greater Cleveland,” said GCRTA Board President, Rev. Charles P. Lucas, Pastor Emeritus, St. James AME Church.

The rail car replacement project total budget currently stands at $393 million, inclusive of new rail cars, infrastructure modifications, railroad connections, engineering, testing, training, field support, spare parts, and special tooling. Support for this project comes from The Federal Transportation Administration (FTA), Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) and The Greater Cleveland RTA.