Railcar Replacement Project - About

The GCRTA's heavy and light rail cars have surpassed their intended lifespan, with heavy rail cars being 39 years old and light rail cars being 42 years old. Maintaining them has become increasingly expensive and time-consuming. Their age has made it difficult to find replacement parts, and the technology and components within these cars are now outdated.

We are implementing a rail car replacement project to address these issues. This project aims to introduce new, standardized rail cars that are more modern and reliable. This upgrade is essential to serve our daily ridership of 25,000 rail passengers and the hundreds of thousands who depend on our rail service for significant community and sporting events. By replacing our ageing rail cars, we expect to increase ridership and stimulate private transit-oriented development along our extensive 33-mile double track system.

Pillar Study

  • In 2018, GCRTA contracted with LTK Engineering Services to comprehensively evaluate the Heavy and Light Rail cars.
  • LTK’s 2019 findings were to replace HRV in 5 years and LRV in 10 years

The rationale for replacement for both fleets:

  • Structural loss from corrosion
  • Lack of readily available parts
  • The cost of rehabilitation far exceeds the replacement cost.

Existing Fleet

The existing Heavy Rail Vehicles (HRV) fleet:

  • Manufactured by Tokyu Car Corporation
  • 60 cars were delivered and 40 remain.
  • Began service in 1984. 
  • Mechanical overhaul 2008 – 2012
  • Interior overhaul 2012 – 2016

The existing LRV fleet

  • Manufactured by Breda
  • 48 cars delivered, 29 remain.
  • Began service in 1981. 
  • Midlife (structural & interior) 2005 – 2010.

Existing Fleet Age

Heavy Rail Vehicle (HRV) Purchase History

  • The GCRTA Board approved the HRV purchase on August 18, 1981, through Resolution No. 1981-186, and we received the vehicles in 1984.
  • Currently, this is the third oldest fleet in the USA. The two older fleets have undergone major upgrades.

Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) Purchase History

  • The GCRTA Board authorized the LRV purchase on September 27, 1977, via Resolution No. 1977-276. The vehicles were delivered in 1981.
  • Presently, this fleet is tied for the oldest average age.

Current Project Overview

  • On January 21, 2020, the Board of Trustees approved a contract with LTK Engineering Services to create technical specifications for replacing the HRVs.
  • LTK recommended procuring a high-floor light rail vehicle compatible with both high and low platforms in their Fleet Procurement Plan.

Understanding High Floor LRVs

  • These vehicles can operate in both heavy and light rail areas.
  • They feature doors for access from existing HRV platforms (about 3.5 ft high) and street level for LRV platforms.
  • They are ADA accessible at light rail stations with mini-high platforms.

Advantages of High Floor LRVs

  • They allow for the replacement of two fleets with a single type of vehicle.
  • This leads to reduced inventory and maintenance costs.
  • The approach simplifies training for mechanics and operators, cutting costs.
  • It enhances purchasing power and collaboration with partner agencies.
  • These vehicles offer increased flexibility for future rail routes and improved customer access.