San Bernardino Arrow Stadler Flirt DMU at factory

USA: The first Flirt low-floor diesel multiple-unit for San Bernardino County Transportation Authority’s future Arrow passenger service in southern California has left Stadler’s Salt Lake City factory.

In September 2017 SBCTA placed a $31·4m order for three DMUs, with an option for three more, as part of the Redlands Passenger Rail Project.

This involves the launch of Arrow-branded passenger services on a local authority-owned former Santa Fe freight alignment running 14·5 km between the University of Redlands and San Bernardino, serving five stations and connecting with Metrolink commuter services to Los Angeles.

The DMUs comply with the Federal Railroad Administration’s Alternative Vehicle Technology requirements, enabling operation alongside freight trains on mixed traffic routes, and meet the Federal Transit Administration’s Buy America rules.

Stadler is to supply three Flirt DMUs for the Arrow commuter service.

The trains are 48·5 m long, formed two cars plus a power module, with a total of 116 seats and standing room for 120 passengers.

In 2019 SBCTA and Stadler signed a further contract for a Flirt H2 fuel cell powered unit, which is currently under development in Switzerland with entry into service planned for 2024. There is an option for a further four hydrogen trainsets.

‘We are confident that our DMUs will allow SBCTA to provide excellent passenger rail service to their customers and that passengers will enjoy travelling on the new trains after successful completion of testing’, said Martin Ritter, CEO of Stadler US, on November 16. ‘This is just the beginning of a longstanding relationship between Stadler and SBCTA. As we finish up the DMU project we have already started the next project for SBCTA, the hydrogen train Flirt H2.’

The SBCTA project is the second to be supplied from the Salt Lake City plant, following the delivery of eight Flirt DMUs to Fort Worth’s Trinity Metro for TEX Rail services which launched in 2019.