An update to the progress of the EMUs was given to the transport committee yesterday and it provides quite a few new pictures of what we will eventually get (although the final colours are still to be decided. Just to give a quick recap the contract with Spanish company Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) was signed in October last year for 57 EMUs along with a 12 year maintenance contract for them. We were also lucky in that we have been able to get 50% more EMUs than originally planned which means there will be enough to run them on all lines (previous plans had envisioned us buying or leasing some electric locomotives for use with some of the existing SA/SD carriages). The first trains is expected to arrive mid to late next year with the first one in service by the end of 2013 although my guess is that we won’t really see it in operation till 2014.
Just as a reminder this is the image we were shown last year when the contract was signed.
And here’s how they look now:
The designs have clearly been refined and improved upon and while I’m not 100% sold on the light blue, I think that in general these trains look great and they will be something the city be really proud about when they finally turn up. I can say that I’m really looking forward to the day the first turn up at my platform. Each EMU will have two motor cars, one at each end and in the middle will be a trailer car that will have a low floor section to allow for level boarding.
Here are some ideas about what the interior might look like:
And some diagrams that give an idea about what the seating layout will be:
And the low floor section which will have dedicated sections for wheelchairs and bikes:
A few other interesting things I have learnt is that the seats will all be cantilevered off the wall which will help to give extra space underneath them to store things. The seats are also a modular design so can be easily changed around if ever needed e.g. say we wanted to create more space we could turn around the seats to a metro style layout. It is probably worth pointing out that at this stage there hasn’t been a formal policy around bikes on trains at peak times but I’m pretty sure AT will work with cycling groups to come up with one.
The timeline for the project is similar to what we have seen in the past and the next key phase is Mock Up 3. As part of the design process CAF is building a series of mock ups so AT can ensure that things work as expected. The first mock up was in December and consisted of detailed CAD drawings, the second was a mock up of the drivers cab that arrived in February and featured in a Herald article. The third is probably the most interesting of the lot from a public perspective as it will be a life sized mock up of a section of the train that will incorporate that as many features as they can fit in and I believe that other than the cab it will have both a high and low floor section. The mock up will arrive in June and AT have said that it will go on public display somewhere so that people can get a look and try it out themselves. As you can see by the image below, things appear to be pretty far along
You can watch a video of the presentation, which includes a fly through of the low floor section here http://www.franklin-live.net/site/player/1059.html