Friday, January 11, 2008

Phoenix Light Rail Cars - 10 things I remember

As a follow up to my tour of the Rail Facility this week, here are a few things I remember.. OK, so these are some "facts" as I remember them, as I was told or as I have read.

1. Arizona Light Rail cars will be among the most technologically advanced in the world.

2. 16 cameras on each train. ie: security, monitors etc.

3. Cars are 90 feet long, 12 feet high, 8.5 feet wide.

4. No-step boarding. This is really cool. Un-like most other systems where the "working parts" are underneath the train, these trains have a lot of the parts on the roof! This allows for a street height entrance/exit that is controlled by air pressure regulating the height.

5. Seats are Kevlar and will be able to withstand much of the low life's attempts at vandalism.

6. GPS units monitor where the trains are at any given time.

7. There are four wheelchair positions and four bike racks on each car.

8. Three vehicles can be linked together. (usually for special events etc.)

9.Seats that are in the front and rear, located above the "wheels," do not face forward. Instead, they face the inside of the car. This helps the above mentioned "low life's" think twice before attempting to take someones belongings on their way out. ie: If a person is facing "forward" with their back to the doors, they might not notice someone attempting to take their bag on the way off of the train. (interesting concept)

10.The light rail cars are assembled in "pieces” so they won’t be down for maintenance. ie: a part goes out, it goes in to the facility where the piece OR an entire section of car is removed, a new one is slapped on and they will be on their way. They are saying we will have very little “down time.” I thought this was really cool to see..

These Light Rail trains, at first glance, did not seem any different to me than any I had seen before. After looking closer and talking to some of the people that work with and on the trains, I was pretty impressed.


Anonymous said...

Sounds promising. Thanks for the report -- David @ PHX Rail Food

Nick Bastian said...

Hi David.. Love your blog! I thought of you the other day when I read about the "new" chronic tacos in Tempe. We should check it out one day. :-) Nick

Samuel I. Richard said...

In regards to number six (6)- do you know if the GPS information will be made public? I heard on NPR the other day that some students at NYU were working on a system to make GPS technology public for the transit system there to know if the busses, trains, etc. were on time. Just a thought. Great stuff here... As always!

Nick Bastian said...

Hi Samuel.. I remember talking about the timing of the trains and the gps systems. I "think" the info will be available but will have to follow up on that. I was told they want people ( commuters etc.) to know that they can count on a train to be on time every day. It was another very interesting conversation.. unfortunately, my mind is forgetful sometimes. :-)

Dean said...

Great article. I was was wondering what was going in here.


Nick Bastian said...

Hi Dean,
"we ain't seen nothin' yet!" :-)
Thanks for stopping by!