USA: Charlotte City Council decided on November 28 to award Siemens a contract to supply six S70 light rail vehicles for the Charlotte Area Transit System. These will be equipped with batteries for catenary-free operation in the Uptown area.

The LRVs are to be supplied from Siemens’ Sacramento plant and will operate on the CityLYNX Gold Line, replacing the existing heritage-style vehicles supplied by Gomaco Trolley Co. Work is set to begin in January 2017 on extensions to each end of the route totalling 4 km, with opening planned for 2020.

There are currently 42 Siemens light rail vehicles in operation on the Blue Line. The new cars will have priority at traffic lights, and be equipped with an automatic passenger counter using 3D infrared sensors, large passenger windows and an unobstructed floor providing more space for bicycle storage and wheelchairs.