The Metra Board of Directors last week approved the purchase of up to 500 state-of-the-art railcars from Alstom Transportation Inc. The railcars for the Chicago, IL area commuter carrier will be built by Machinists from District Lodge 19, Local Lodge 2741 members at Alstom’s manufacturing plant in Hornell, New York.
“This purchase is the news we needed to kickstart our year,” said General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “The Machinists at Local 2741 are renowned for their unmatched workmanship in their industry and this large, long-term project will provide work and security for our members at Alstom for years to come.”
The new cars will have two entranceways on each side with doors nearly level to the platform, thereby requiring only one step to enter instead of multiple steps on the old gallery cars. These changes will improve passenger flow, increase safety and reduce time spent boarding and deboarding at each station. The cars will also be wheelchair accessible for people with disabilities, deploying lifts to bridge the slight difference between the platform and entrance.
The first car is expected to be delivered 42 months after the contract is finalized, with the full base order completed 30 months later.
to read how Local 2741 is building Amtrak’s new Acela fleet.