Business & Real Estate

Siemens Mobility wins $200 million light rail manufacturing contracts for Florin facility

This is what California’s bullet train would look like

Siemens official Armin Kick talks about what the high-speed rail car would look like outside the Capitol in Sacramento on Feb. 24, 2015. Siemens is a major manufacturer of bullet train cars.
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Siemens official Armin Kick talks about what the high-speed rail car would look like outside the Capitol in Sacramento on Feb. 24, 2015. Siemens is a major manufacturer of bullet train cars.

A Germany-based transportation conglomerate with roots in Sacramento secured two contracts, worth more than $200 million combined, to build light rail vehicles bound for San Diego and Portland out of a local manufacturing facility.

Siemens Mobility won a contract with TriMet, Portland’s regional public transit provider, worth more than $100 million to build 26 light rail trains, and another contract with San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System worth just under $100 million for 25 light rail trains, according to a company news release.

The TriMet contract, which includes options for 60 additional trains, will replace 26 older light rail trains from another manufacturer with new Siemens trains, meaning TriMet’s fleet will soon be composed entirely of Siemens trains, according to the release.

Siemens expects to deliver the first trains to TriMet by 2021, according to the release. The company previously secured an $80 million contract with TriMet in June to refurbish 79 light rail trains through 2025.

“We are grateful for TriMet’s continued trust, which began when we first jointly developed the Type 2 fleet, North America’s first low-floor light rail vehicles in 1995,” Michael Cahill, Siemens Mobility president of North American rolling stock, said in a prepared statement. “We greatly appreciate our long-standing relationship with TriMet for many reasons, but one of the most important has been the sharing of innovative advancements – which has directly fed into the latest development of our newest low-floor platform, the S700.”

The S700 train model was developed jointly by Siemens and TriMet, according to the release, and the trains will be manufactured at the Siemens facility on French Road in unincorporated Sacramento County.

“Retiring our older rail vehicles with stairs and replacing them with these new vehicles will mean the entire MAX Light Rail fleet will be all low-floor, better meeting ADA standards and creating a better experience for all riders, no matter their physical abilities,” TriMet General Manager Doug Kelsey said in a prepared statement. “These new vehicles also are a critical part of our making transit better efforts and will make the light rail system more efficient and more reliable for our customers.”

The new model uses energy efficient LED lighting and allows for greater accessibility with its wider aisles, according to the release.

San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit system will also buy S700 low-floor trains, replacing older Siemens trains from the 1990s. Delivery of the trains is expected to begin in 2021, according to the release.

“The standards and expectations for public transit continue to change and we are committed to meeting the needs of our current and future riders,” Metropolitan Transit System CEO Paul Jablonski said in a prepared statement. “MTS operates one of the most efficient and reliable light rail systems in the US and a large part of our success is due to our long-standing working relationship with Siemens to provide best-of-class vehicles. The evolution of its light rail vehicles has been exceptional.”

Siemens employs more than 1,400 people in the Sacramento area and has had operations in the region since the 1980s. Sacramento Regional Transit runs 36 Siemens trains in its fleet.

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Vincent Moleski covers business and breaking news for The Bee and is a graduate student in literature at Sacramento State. He was born and raised in Sacramento and previously wrote for the university’s student newspaper, the State Hornet.