The Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) has placed its first new train on the Metrorail system since service first started in 1984.
The new four-car train of 136 cars that will make up the new Metrorail fleet was manufactured by Hitachi Rail Italy. The new cars are funded by approximately $313.8 million in surtax funds from the People’s Transportation Plan. The replacement of the Metrorail fleet is being expedited and Hitachi Rail has increased the number of crews performing testing.
"Hitachi Rail designed our new Metrorail trains exclusively for Miami-Dade County. This means that there are no other rail trains like ours in the world,” remarked DTPW Director Alice N. Bravo, P.E. “Thanks to Hitachi Rail, the Citizens’ Independent Transportation Trust, and DTPW staff, we were able to place the first Metrorail train into service just 20 months after assembly began. Moving forward, as new Metrorail trains are phased in, riders will begin to see improvements in service and enjoy a more comfortable ride."
The new rail cars include the following features:
- automated announcements and digital signage;
- four digital monitors for extensive media content;
- high capacity, high-speed Wi-Fi;
- interior bicycle racks;
- security cameras; and
- energy efficient LED lighting.
Hitachi Rail Italy CEO Maurizio Manfellotto remarked, "We proudly celebrate with our customer, Miami-Dade County, the inauguration of the County’s new Metrorail trains. Today, we are delivering state-of-the-art train technology and reliability to Miami-Dade County, which will help them to also deliver on their promise to the community. This project marks our return to the American market, where Hitachi is now significantly present."
"Today is a great day in Miami-Dade County’s history of providing public transportation,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “For the first time in more than 30 years of Metrorail service, we placed on our tracks the first new high-performance, modern vehicles for our 25-mile Metrorail system. This, along with other enhancements, is one of the many ways that Miami-Dade government is improving transportation in our community.”
DTPW plans to have half of the cars needed to operate at peak levels replaced by July 2018 and all new railcars for peak-revenue service in place by the end of 2019.