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Front Page » Transportation » First 8 of 136 new Metrorail cars in testing

First 8 of 136 new Metrorail cars in testing

Written by on October 24, 2017
First 8 of 136 new Metrorail cars in testing

The first eight of 136 Metrorail cars to replace Miami-Dade’s metro fleet are in various stages of testing, the Department of Transportation and Public Works says. The first train is on schedule to begin service by the end of November.

“As the new Metrorail trains are placed into service, our customers will definitely see an improvement,” said Alice Bravo, director of transportation. “They will enjoy a smoother ride with fewer service disruptions.”

Sixteen cars are currently in production at the Hitachi facility in Medley, the transportation department said.

The 140,400-square-foot custom-designed Hitachi facility opened in March 2016, and was solely made for the manufacturing and subassembly of the county’s new trains.

The space is owned by Tokyo-based Hitachi Rail US and can test eight cars simultaneously.

Prior to arriving at the Hitachi facility, the train shells are made at the DRS Sustainment Systems Systems in West Plains, MO, which primarily handles military defense contracts.

Once the shell arrives in Miami, workers assemble the doors, electrical systems, wheels and axels, the rooftop HVAC and the under-frame equipment that takes the cars down the tracks.

The tests in the Medley facility “are all about electronic and water-testing,” Ms. Bravo told Miami Today in February. “Then they will be taken to the Lehman Center in late March to run on tracks.”

In the Medley facility, 400 spray nozzles shoot water at the trains for a prolonged period in large sloped pits to test the water pressure they can sustain.

Once the trains are proved capable of handling Miami’s climate, work begins on the interior of the cars.

Some trains are already being tested on Metrorail’s main line at night when other cars are out of operation, while others are being tested on the Lehman Metrorail facility’s test track.

The new cars are roughly the size of the existing fleet but have improved technology.

The transportation department says the cars will feel and sound much different to riders. They have much quieter disc brakes than the existing fleet, computerized control systems for smoother acceleration and reduced use of electricity, making them more reliable.

“We remain on schedule to place the first train in service by the end of November 2017,” the department said.

All 136 trains are on track to run by 2019.

In the meantime, the transportation department is finding ways to improve the ride quality of the existing fleet while riders wait for the upgrade, Ms. Bravo said:

“As new trains are prepared for their debut, we are continuously working on ways to improve the maintenance of our current vehicles to help minimize breakdowns and enhance their reliability.”

5 Responses to First 8 of 136 new Metrorail cars in testing

  1. Jose Novoa

    October 25, 2017 at 9:30 am

    What good does it do to tell the citizens of this County with these new trains our riders will enjoy better smooth rides and less interruption. If the service is limited in this County!! You misused our half penny sales tax all these years.. to extend rail, and now you bring new trains!!! Give these people there GOD DAM RAIL!!!!!! Stop steeling these people taxes and give them more rail service to Florida City … I’m so sick of these crooks governing this County!!!!!!!!!.

  2. F. Cabrera

    October 25, 2017 at 9:45 am

    What’s going to happen to the old trains? Any chance some can be refurbished and upgraded for use in future lines? That would cut the cost of a new line

  3. roy jr, miami springs, fl

    October 27, 2017 at 1:20 am

    they should have started the people mover extension from museum station to the miami beach convention center already.

  4. L

    November 7, 2017 at 10:42 am

    it’s a SHAME that such a large urban area, has FEW Options for Public Transit. It’s not like nobody knew our population was going to building permit after permit are being issued to collect more tax $$$.

    WE NEED MORE RAIL LINES (from downtown going West & South), MORE DESIGNATED BUS LANES (that are Not stuck in traffic or prone to delays due to red lights & accidents). we do not need more studies, stop miss using our $$$. It’s a shame that a commute that used to take 30 to 40 minutes has turned into over 2 hours! The quality of life here has Horrible. Everyday I see more & more commuters on the busses & trains. You know where everyone starts their trip & ends as we have electronic Metro cards… So provide the services where they are needed the Most.

  5. L

    November 7, 2017 at 10:47 am

    and Find a way to Provide EXPRESS services for those citizens living the longest distances.