DENVER (CBS4)– The first rail cars that will be part of RTD’s electric commuter rail lines have left the assembly plant in Philadelphia on their journey to Denver.

The cars are assembled in Philadelphia and shipped four at a time by freight. They’re expected to arrive in Denver the week of Nov. 17.

The rail cars will be used on four FasTracks lines in 2016, the East Rail Line to Denver International Airport, the Northwest Rail Line to Westminster, the Gold Line to Arvada/Wheat Ridge and the North Metro Rail Line To Thornton.

Commuter rail trains are heavier and travel faster than light rail vehicles but operate in a similar way using overhead electric lines. The trains will travel up to 79 miles an hour. Commuter rail is used on longer lines and make fewer stops than a typical light rail system.

Passengers will be able to walk directly from the station platform onto the vehicles without climbing stairs, as each door offers level boarding. This means each vehicle entrance is accessible to wheelchairs, rolling luggage, bicycles, strollers and other large items. The vehicles have large seats with headrests, overhead storage, luggage racks and bicycle racks.

The steel car shells were manufactured at Hyundai Rotem’s plant in South Korea, then shipped to the company’s plant in Philadelphia for fitting and assembly of various components including wheel trucks, brakes, seats, propulsion system, flooring, doors and windows.


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