Newark, NJ – NJ Transit has approved the purchase of 25 additional Multilevel III cars. These are option order cars, tacked on to a 2018 order with Alstom, which was originally for 113 cars, Bringing a total of 138 cars.
Interestingly, the original order was awarded to Bombardier Transportation in 2019, however NJ Transit announced in their press release that the contract was awarded to Alstom. Both are true, as Bombardier Transportation did, in fact, win the contract. However, in 2021, Alstom announced the acquisition of Bombardier Transportation.
New Jersey Transit has transitioned to exclusively ordering multi-level cars in 2006, with the first order of what is now known as Multilevel I cars. These were manufactured by Bombardier Transportation, and a total of 329 cars were delivered between 2006 and 2010. These cars replaced the Comet I, and Comet IB cars.
In 2012, NJ Transit again ordered Multilevel cars, but at this point, NJ Transit adopted a numbering system to each order, dubbing this order the Multilevel II cars. These were also manufactured by Bombardier Transportation, and a total of 100 cars were delivered between 2012 and 2013. The Multilevel IIs replaced the remaining Comet III cars and some Comet II cars.
Now in 2018, NJ Transit ordered Multilevel III cars, not from Bombardier Transportation, but Alstom according to their own press release. These cars will displace some Arrow III cars by introducing Multilevel III power cars to the system.
The Multilevel III vehicles will include a new type of car called a power car, which will replace older vehicles in the fleet and three types of vehicles NJ TRANSIT already runs in service (cab cars, trailer cars, and trailer cars with restrooms.)
The Multilevel III power cars, which will replace the 40+ year old Arrow III single-level cars, are Electric Multiple Units (EMU’s), a multiple-unit train consisting of self-propelled cars using electricity as power. An EMU requires no separate locomotive, as electric traction motors are incorporated within one or more of the vehicles on the train.
The new cars increase seating capacity from 1,380 seats on a 12-car Arrow III train to 1,552 seats on a new 12-car Multilevel III train. The new cars will feature roomier two-by-two seating as opposed to the three-person bench seats that are currently on the Arrow III cars.NJ Transit in the official press release
NJ Transit states that the breakdown of the 25 additional cars will breakdown like this:
- 17 trailer cars without restrooms
- 5 trailer cars with restrooms
- 3 cab cars.
Additionally to this breakdown, NJ Transit also states that these cars will have more modern amenities such as USB charging ports, modern information screen displays, and onboard wifi.
Still no official word on when the first of these Alstom-built cars will enter service, but stay tuned for future updates. Originally, NJ Transit announced that this order was to go to Bombardier, and these cars were to be entering service beginning in 2023. If the same applies, these will be expected to be seen in service in 2023, just from Alstom.