Los Angeles Metrolink refurbished coach (1)

USA: Los Angeles commuter rail operator Metrolink has returned to service the first of 50 coaches which are undergoing mid-life refurbishment, and has been allocated funding for a capacity enhancement programme.

The contract for the refurbishment work was awarded to a Talgo-Systra joint venture in June 2019. Metrolink expects to have 17 refurbished coaches in service by the end of 2022, and all 50 by early 2024.

Los Angeles Metrolink refurbished coach (9)

CEO Darren Kettle said the modernised vehicle has ’a contemporary interior, charging ports at each seat, and a number of enhancements providing passengers with a safer and more comfortable ride with elevated amenities’.

Los Angeles Metrolink refurbished coach (3)

Changes to make the vehicles easier to clean include vinyl seating and non-carpeted flooring. There is enhanced air filtration and UV lighting to provide protection against bacteria, air pollutants and viruses.

Los Angeles Metrolink refurbished coach (2)

There is more energy-efficient lighting and toilets with a modern look and better odour control.

Los Angeles Metrolink refurbished coach (6)

The doors have obstacle detection systems, there are three emergency intercom buttons on every car, and emergency fresh air ventilation in case of power loss.

Los Angeles Metrolink refurbished coach (4)

Meanwhile, the California State Transportation Agency has awarded Metrolink grants of more than $25m from the Transit & Intercity Rail Capital Programme to complete final design and construction of three capacity enhancements as part of the Metrolink Perris Valley Line Capacity Improvement Project. This matches $32 million of federal funds secured by the Riverside County Transportation Commission.

The works to support a 30 min bi-directional service include 4∙3 km of double-tracking, a second platform at Moreno Valley/March Field station and expansion of Perris South station. Completion is planned by 2027.