Yesterday, Sound Transit announced the purchase of 30 more light rail vehicles (LRVs) to feed the coming Federal Way and Redmond extensions due to open in 2024. In September, the agency placed an order of 122 Siemens S70 LRVs for the East Link, Northgate Link, and Lynnwood Link extensions with the option for an additional order of 30 LRVs–this is that order. Siemens is expected to begin delivering LRVs in mid-2019. Under the terms of the purchase option, Sound Transit wants to have the extra 30 LRVs delivered within 18 months from final delivery of the first 122-vehicle batch.

ExtensionPlanned Opening DateVehiclesProgram
Northgate Link202140Sound Transit 2
East Link202348Sound Transit 2
Lynnwood Link202334Sound Transit 2
Federal Way Link/Redmond Link202430Sound Transit 3

The new LRVs should offer a better rider experience over the tight gangway configuration found on Link trains today. In a press release, Sound Transit summed up the key features of the new LRVs:

Each of the new LRVs will provide 74 seats, with larger windows, extra standing room in the center aisle, more space under seats to stow luggage, and four bicycle hooks—twice as many as provided currently. Each car will come equipped with dynamic passenger information displays and LED destination signs will also be included.

The total cost for the 30 LRVs is $131 million. Purchasing the LRVs now will result in substantial savings and secure timely delivery of the trains.

Link 2.0: First Peek At Sound Transit’s New Siemens LRVs

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Stephen is an urban planner with a passion for promoting sustainable, livable, and diverse cities. He advocates for smart policies, regulations, and implementation programs that enhance urban environments by committing to quality design, accommodating growth, providing a diversity of housing choices, and adequately providing public services. Stephen primarily writes about land use and transportation issues.