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Portland opens Orange Line

14 Sep 2015

USA: Portland light rail operator TriMet inaugurated the MAX Orange Line between Portland and Milwaukie on September 12.

The 11·7 km route is operated as a southern extension of the existing Yellow line. Startling at SE Park Avenue in north Milwaukie, the route runs north to OMSI before crossing the Willamette River on the newly opened Tilikum Crossing. The 524 m cable-stayed bridge is the longest car-free transit bridge in the US and also carries buses, bicycles and pedestrians. Services then continue to SW College before continuing as Yellow Line services. The Orange Line adds 10 stops to the network.

Siemens has supplied 18 S70 light rail vehicles from its Sacramento plant under a $73m contract, taking the total number of cars supplied by Siemens to TriMet to 119. Following input from TriMet and passengers, the LRVs feature new seating arrangements, additional wheelchair access, larger windows and improved HVAC that automatically adjusts based on the number of passengers.

The vehicles are equipped with Sitras SES energy storage units, in what the company says is their first application in the USA. These allow braking energy to be stored for voltage stabilisation during times of peak energy demand.

Siemens has also supplied detection and control devices, track circuits and crossing gates. Much of this equipment was manufactured at Siemens Rail Automation plants in Marion and Louisville, Kentucky.

The Federal Transit Administration provided a $745·2m grant towards the project under the full-funding grant agreement programme, which covered half of the $1·49bn cost.