NEW JERSEY Transit’s board has confirmed an order for 230 push-pull commuter coaches valued at $233m. The first phase of a major re-equipment programme began on November 10 when Alstom Transportation Inc was selected to supply the Comet V fleet.

The initial batch of 130 vehicles includes 50 driving cars and 80 trailers. There are options in the contract for 100 more coaches, of which 53 would have cabs. New York MTA’s Metro-North Railroad will fund up to 30 of the initial batch for Pascack Valley and Port Jervis services which run over NJT to Hoboken.

The 25·9 m stainless steel cars will have full wheelchair accessibility, air-conditioning, an LED passenger information system, automatic doors and meet the latest FRA-mandated safety standards. The bodyshells will be manufactured in São Paulo, and shipped to Hornell for final assembly. First deliveries are expected in the summer of 2001.

NJT has appointed STV Inc to provide engineering assistance for the five-year programme, which covers the 200 single-deck Comet V cars, plus 24 electric and 30 diesel locomotives for delivery by 2002, and 200 double-deck coaches by 2004. NJT is expecting a 36% growth in patronage from 94000 today to 128500 passengers/day by 2005.

  • On December 9 NJ Transit awarded a $10·7m contract to Harmon Industries’ California-based subsidiary Syseca Inc to provide an advanced Train Management & Control System for its Rail Operations Center in Kearny, New Jersey. Due for completion in 2002, the ROC will oversee up to 150 trains serving 13 commuter rail routes totalling 1200 track-km. Syseca is currently commissioning the control system for NJ Transit’s Hudson-Bergen light rail line (RG 12.99 p777).