On 13.01.2021, the Metra Board of Directors approved the purchase of up to 500 double-deck passenger coaches from Alstom. The initial order will cover 200 cars, including driving trailers – with options for 300 additional cars, amounting to a total of USD 1.8 billion.
For Metra, this is the first new coach fleet purchase in more than two decades, and the order has been in the making since 2014. The ‘Coradia Multilevel’ design is a customized version of Alstom’s Coradia Duplex model and will feature video screens, bike racks, storage for luggage, power outlets, cup holders, armrests, and an almost level entrance. With a lift to a gap between the platform and entrance, the coaches will be also wheelchair accessible. The stainless steel coaches will be compatible with Metra’s existing fleet.
The first car is expected to be delivered 42 months after contract finalization, with the full base order complete 30 months later. Alstom will deliver the coaches from its Hornell facility, where current Avelia Liberty high-speed trains are being built.
Metropolitan rail, officially known as Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corporation, is a commuter rail system in the state of Illinois serving the Chicago metropolitan area.
Remarkable: About 40 percent of Metra’s current fleet of 840 cars are rated in marginal or poor condition, although they are still safe to operate.