The Citadis Spirit — a new light rail vehicle that was designed for the North American market — was recently unveiled by Alstom during the 2013 American Public Transportation Association Rail Conference in Philly.
The new light rail vehicles feature a number of unique design elements, chosen with the North American market in mind. As Alstom notes, there are now more than 30 cities in the US and Canada which are currently developing new light rail or streetcar systems, the Citadis Spirit was designed with these new projects in mind.
The press release notes:
Those features include a 100% low floor design and the ability to operate at speeds of up to 65 mph. Hence, the Citadis Spirit is versatile and can provide both a streetcar service in mixed traffic as well as a commuter service on dedicated infrastructure. Its low-floor boarding and interior, which is free of steps, provides better accessibility as well as a safer and more comfortable ride to users of all walks and ages. The vehicle also is totally modular in length and can be expanded as a city’s transportation needs grow over time. Additionally, the Citadis Spirit can be paired with one of Alstom’s proven off-wire power supply systems to preserve historic cityscapes and minimize impacts on the environment.
The vehicle will be manufactured in North America starting in 2015. Something else worth noting: as the design is very modular, it will allow the final assembly to be done relatively close to the place where the vehicles will be used, rather than shipping them as a whole.
Alstom has already begun receiving orders for the new vehicles: back in February 2013, the City of Ottawa made an order for 34 vehicles, with a further 21 vehicles in option, and 30 years of maintenance services.
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