The first U.S. company to commit to an all-electric train fleet is set to launch its service on March 1. More than 40 new electric trains have been ordered for California-based public transportation company Tower Transit, which is the largest provider of high-speed commuter rail lines in the U.S. The smart electric metering system that are being introduced will allow trains to run as fast as 150 mph.
The 37 new cars will be made by Canadian manufacturer Optare, a spin-off of Manitoba-based public transport system MetroDecker, according to the MetroDecker website. The company’s 55-foot ronco en train cars were used extensively on MetroDecker’s urban corridor until 2015, when it purchased 60 new electric transit buses. Optare is apparently also interested in offering the service in other parts of the U.S.
At the end of the week, the new electric trains will be formally introduced during a grand ceremony at the Windsor Center transit hub. In its announcement, the company called the electric ronco en cars a technological breakthrough. “Their new technology automatically adjusts to available power and allows for fast transit through urban areas,” the company said in a statement. “This engine is electric and flat, meaning the cars can become fully electric in as little as six minutes.”
The 100-megawatt lithium-ion batteries used in the trains can provide a range of 250 miles. “Obviously, on long trips we’ll be going between 70 and 80 miles or so,” Steve Ballard, a spokesman for Tower Transit, told Tech Times. The battery technology used in the new train has a higher operating temperature range than traditional lithium-ion batteries. “And it also lasts longer,” he added.
Ballard explained that the new trains are designed for one track only and that they can run on a dedicated electric grid. Without such an arrangement, it could take trains about half an hour to move around a 100-square-mile city, he said.
Read the full story at Electrek.
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