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Siemens S70 Streetcars for Atlanta

With Atlanta, Georgia, USA, planning to construct an extensive regional streetcar and light rail transit system. Siemens has been awarded the contract by regional operator Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) to deliver four new type S70 streetcars worth about USD17 million. MARTA placed the order with Siemens on behalf of the City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District. This marks Siemens’ entry into the newly emerging market segment for streetcars in the USA. Siemens has already established itself as a U.S. market leader for light rail transit systems with its S70 vehicle platform.

Virtual image of the S70 streetcar for Atlanta

The four new streetcars are based on the proven S70 light rail vehicle platform that Siemens developed specially for the North American market. Up till now these vehicles have only been used in mass transit and regional services linking the suburbs to the city, such as in Houston, Charlotte, San Diego, Portland and Salt Lake City. Their design, however, also allows these vehicles to be operated, if required by the operator, as streetcars in the inner-city areas. The new contract from Atlanta means that the S70 will be operated in the city centre as a streetcar for the first time.

In an initial phase these Siemens vehicles are to bridge the existing gap in public transportation within the core of Atlanta's downtown area and connect major area attractions, historic landmarks, educational centres, shopping enters, and other vibrant public spaces. Moreover, the new 2.7 mile (4.3 km) route with 12 stops will provide a link between downtown Atlanta and its key business districts. As the regional system around Atlanta grows, the streetcars can be converted to meet the rising demand for light rail transit operation. The first car is expected to be delivered in September 2012 and start revenue service in early 2013. The new S70 streetcars are to be built at the Siemens plant in Sacramento, California, while other train components, such as the propulsion system, will come from the Siemens manufacturing facility in Alpharetta.

21 May 2011

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