THE Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (Septa) has signed a contract valued at more than €667m with Alstom to deliver 130 low floor LRVs for the light rail network in Philadelphia, with options to build an additional 30 LRVs.

The agreement calls for the delivery of fully customised, sustainable, next-generation Citadis LRVs specifically designed for North America, and which will replace the existing fleet which dates from the 1980s.

Alstom says the new Citadis LRVs will offer a 20% reduction in energy consumption compared with a standard light rail solution. Additionally, energy efficiency is achieved by integrating LED lights and sensor-based air-conditioning, and each vehicle is 99% recyclable at the end of its 30-year lifespan.

The 100% low floor vehicles will feature wider aisles to facilitate passenger movement and accessibility, ramps at all doors for disabled access, audio and visual passenger information systems, and metro-style seating with flexible interiors that accommodate larger items while adjusting to capacity, demand and need.

The vehicles will also have designated spaces for wheelchairs, walkers, pushchairs, and bicycles.

“Trolley modernisation poses economic benefits for both riders and the region at large,” says Septa board chairman, Mr Pasquale T. Deon Sr. “This project will strengthen existing connections by improving transit services that link workers to jobs, students to schools, and diverse communities to each other, supporting local businesses and an affordable cost-of-living for everyone.”

Septa’s seven-line light rail network connects communities in west, southwest and north Philadelphia and Delaware County directly with the region’s two largest employment and healthcare centres, Center City and University City.

Delivery of the new vehicles is scheduled to begin in 2027 with full fleet delivery by the end of 2030.

The LRVs will be manufactured in the United States at Alstom’s Hornell facility in upstate New York. Alstom has invested extensively in the Hornell site over the past few years, including the construction of a stainless-steel car body shell manufacturing facility to localise car body shell production, which will provide greater quality control over the entire production process for Septa.

Additionally, Alstom will manufacture the advanced propulsion system for the LRVs at its site in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania.

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