The first two of 11 new cars for the Sounder S Line train that runs between Seattle and Lakewood, including stops in Kent, have arrived in Seattle.
The two new cars, one cab and one coach, are part of an 11-car order approved by the Sound Transit Board in 2020 totaling three passenger cab cars and eight coach cars. All the cars were manufactured by Alstom (formerly Bombardier, which was acquired in 2021) under a $46.5 million contract, according to a Sound Transit news release.
For that contract, Sound Transit partnered with two other transit agencies, California’s San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission and North County Transit District, to reduce the unit price for each rail car with a larger order.
A second shipment of two more cars is expected in mid-September.
The 11 new cars will increase the Sounder passenger car fleet to 78, which includes both cab and coach cars.
All the cars being purchased include the latest safety design features known as Crash Energy Management (CEM), a technology designed to absorb energy in the event of a collision. Main elements include an “energy absorption zone” at each end of the car and couplers that can absorb energy between cars. Cab cars also feature a full-width windshield for enhanced sightlines.
All the new cars will go through inspections, systems testing and commissioning before being put in service. The first of the new cars are expected to be in service this fall.