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Proposals will be due in August, and Metra aims to finalize a deal by the end of the year. The order will be for at least 200 new cars with the option to purchase 200 more, pending funding. Metra currently operates 848 locomotive-hauled, push-pull and 186 electric multiple-unit railcars in use. Of the 848 push-pull cars, the newest are 302 acquired from Nippon Sharyo between 2002 and 2005.
Metra is adamant that whatever design is chosen must see an increased seating capacity. In addition, the interior design must allow for “the most efficient passenger flow possible.” Also, the seats must have armrests and cup holders, and manufacturers have the option of proposing features such as USB ports, foot rests and tray tables with the seats. Heated floors can also be offered as an option.
The new cars must also include bike racks for two to five bikes, a camera/DVR system for the passenger area and LED lighting. Onboard Wi-Fi may be proposed as an option, but if the proposal doesn’t include it there must be provisions for it to be added later.
This article first appeared on www.railwayage.com
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