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RTD team visits rail car plant for first-hand reportRegional Transportation District General Manager Phil Washington and FasTracks Assistant General Manager of Capital Programs Rick Clarke toured Hyundai Rotem's Philadelphia plant in mid-January with other members of the management team.
There, they got a first-hand status report on the commuter rail cars being assembled for the Eagle P3 Project and the North Metro Rail Line. Here is what they learned:
- 20 rail cars were on the manufacturing plant floor in various stages of assembly; the total order for Eagle P3 is 54 cars.
- Assembly includes installing wiring, wheels and coupler mounting, propulsion motors, braking and electrical systems, windows, seats, bike racks, handrails, flooring and lighting.
- Some 250 Hyundai Rotem employees are working on the assembly process, which means FasTracks is supporting job creation in Denver and Philadelphia.
- Once fully assembled, Hyundai Rotem will test the rail cars in a high-pressure water chamber to check for leaks.
- RTD FasTracks expects the first shipment of commuter rail cars to arrive in September, when they will go on display and undergo extensive track testing.
- Hyundai Rotem's nearly 300,000-square-foot Philadelphia plant fulfills federal requirements that 60 percent of the rail cars be composed of U.S.-made components and that final assembly be done in the United States.
- The rail cars are based on state-of-the-art technology that is smoother, faster and quieter than diesel trains, which are often used on commuter rail systems.
- Denver will be the first U.S. city since World War II to introduce electric commuter rail cars to its transit system; San Francisco's Caltrain is retrofitting its system with electric rail cars and is tapping into RTD's expertise.