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The first of eight Stadler GTW 2/6 diesel multiple-units ordered for the East Contra Costa BART Extension Project was unveiled on June 30.
The eBART project was approved in 2007 as a quicker and more affordable alternative to extending the BART metro network into eastern Contra Costa County. It involves the construction of 16 km of dedicated 1 435 mm gauge line from BART’s Pittsburg/Bay Point terminus to new stations at Pittsburg and Antioch, running east along the median of Highway 4 which is being widened as part of a project with an overall value of around $1bn. A groundbreaking was held in October 2010, and BART says the $525m cost of the rail element of the project including standard gauge DMUs has been 60% cheaper than building an electrified line to the BART network’s 1 676 mm gauge.
The $58m order for the DMUs was placed with sole bidder Stadler in April 2014. They are based on units previously supplied to NJ Transit, Capital Metro I Austin and Denton County Transportation Authority in northern Dallas. They meet EPA Tier 4 emissions regulations, and have multilingual information displays and automated announcements.
All eight DMUs are due to be delivered by December 2016, ready for a year of state-mandated testing ahead of the launch of passenger services in winter 2017-18. The line will have a peak capacity of 2 400 passengers/h and initial ridership is expected to be 5 600 passengers/day, increasing to 10 100 by 2030.
This article first appeared on www.railwaygazette.com
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