New Jerseyans who commute by train could soon be riding in new passenger rail cars.
For the first time in nearly a decade, New Jersey Transit (NJT) is looking to acquire ‘Multilevel III’ (MLV III) cars to add to its aging fleet. These cars, sometimes known to riders as ‘double-deckers,’ have doors and some seating on a mezzanine level on both ends with dozens of additional seats available on the upper and lower floors in between. The previous sets were acquired by NJT from Bombardier, a Canadian transportation company, as overcrowding continued to plague single-level ‘Comet’ cars.
In October 2017, the Newark-based state agency released a Request for Proposals (RFP) “from railcar manufacturers to design, engineer, manufacture, assemble, test, deliver and warranty” these new rail cars under a fixed price contract, according to a legal notice. Initially, proposals were scheduled to be due on Feb. 15, but NJT’s website shows that the due date has been pushed back to April 20.
According to the agency’s 2017 Annual Report, the 113 new train cars are expected to replace the 40-year-old single-level ‘Arrow III’ cars, which are currently used on some Northeast Corridor Line trains to New York Penn Station and trains to Hoboken Terminal on the Montclair-Boonton and Morris & Essex Lines.
“Arrival of the MLV III railcars will greatly reduce the average age of the NJ TRANSIT rail fleet,” according to the report, which adds that “the MLV III fleet will be equipped with all of the popular customer amenities and comfort found in the corporation’s existing MLV fleet.”
This news comes as the agency is acquiring 17 new dual-powered ALP45 locomotives to replace ones that date back close to 50 years. The new locomotives can serve electrified lines like the Northeast Corridor Line and non-electrified lines like the Raritan Valley Line.