SOUTH Florida Regional Transportation Authority has ordered a two-car double-deck diesel multiple-unit from Colorado Railcar for $6·9m.

The move follows trials on Tri-Rail’s Miami - Fort Lauderdale - West Palm Beach service using Colorado Railcar’s prototype single-deck DMU car, as part of a demonstration tour of the USA. The authority has also decided to buy the prototype, which showed significant operating cost savings compared to the existing double-deck push-pull sets.

The double-deck cars are due to be delivered in March next year. The vehicles will be 27m long and 6m high. One will be a 1200hp motor car with seats for 188 passengers, and the other a driving trailer which will accommodate 200. There will also be provision in the trailer for cycle racks, luggage space and a wheelchair-accessible toilet, located in a low-floor area 610mm above the rails.