New Low-Floor Light Rail Trains Enter Final Testing Phase

December 7, 2023 General, SacRT in Community

As part of the Light Rail Modernization Project, SacRT has purchased low-floor light rail vehicles from Siemens Mobility, which are built in south Sacramento.  Upon delivery from Siemens Mobility, each train undergoes a comprehensive testing process to ensure optimal functionality before being integrated into SacRT’s system. The last phase, known as “Burn-in Testing,” began on December 7, 2023, marking a crucial step toward the deployment for service.

Testing Details:

The Burn-in testing phase is conducted systemwide on the Gold, Green, and Blue Lines, Monday through Friday, between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. This schedule is designed to minimize any impact on light rail service.

During Burn-in Testing, the new low-floor trains will operate as active trains, pulling up to stations, opening doors, deploying ramps, closing doors, and moving to the next station. This testing process is meant to mimic an actual train in service, so the headsigns and announcements will appear as an active train, so they can be tested at each station. The new low-floor trains will have large “Test Train” decals on doors and windows to prevent boarding. There are also live audio messages about the test trains playing at light rail stations.

Burn-in Testing is expected to take approximately two weeks per train. This thorough process allows SacRT staff to identify and address any issues before the trains are approved for service.

The Burn-in Testing process is projected to continue through the spring of 2024 for the first 20 trains.

Testing Phases for Each New Low-Floor Train:

STEP 1: Static Testing (Approximately 2 months): Comprehensive evaluations of all onboard systems including programming, signals, lighting and electrical connections.

STEP 2: Dynamic Testing (Approximately 2 months): On track testing of braking and propulsion with different load scenarios. Nightly mainline service shutdowns to ensure thorough testing.

STEP 3: Burn-in Testing (Approximately 2 weeks): On-track operation for a minimum of 1,000 miles without specified failures.

SacRT’s light rail staff are currently undergoing training to both test and operate the new low-floor trains, ensuring a seamless transition to active service.

We appreciate the public’s understanding and cooperation during this testing phase, as SacRT strives to enhance the safety, reliability, and efficiency of its transit system.

ABOUT THE NEW LOW-FLOOR TRAINS

The new low-floor vehicles will provide easier access at every doorway, a spacious seating design, and large windows for better light and views. They feature improved accessibility with wider aisles. The new low-floor vehicles will increase overall operational flexibility by providing more access to passengers with disabilities.

The new low-floor light rail trains will only use at maximum of three new Siemens (S700) light rail vehicles during peak or other service, since there are several city blocks in downtown Sacramento that are not long enough to accommodate four of the S700 vehicles while meeting ADA requirements for the S700 door placement and the bridge plate to land 8” above the top of the .

The first new low-floor train was delivered to SacRT in March 2023.  The first low-floor vehicles are expected to be ready for revenue service in summer 2024.

LIGHT RAIL MODERNZIATION PROJECT

SacRT is modernizing the light rail system to make future travel easier, safer and more convenient for riders. The project includes three major highlights:

  1. Purchasing a new fleet of low-floor trains.
  2. Reconfiguring light rail station platforms to accommodate the new low-floor trains.
  3. Adding a passing track to operate 15-minute service between Sunrise and Historic Folsom stations, rather than the existing 30-minute service.

Construction on station platform modifications along the Gold Line began in January 2023 and will continue through summer 2024. Construction on the passing track for Folsom area stations began on January 2, 2024. Learn more at sacrt.com/Folsom15.

The entire Gold Line is expected to be updated for the new low-floor trains in summer 2024. Learn more at sacrt.com/modernization