Freedman Supplies New Light Rail Passenger Seating To Siemens For Calgary Transit

In a press release issued this week, Siemens Canada announced delivery of the first of 63 new light rail vehicles, strengthening an over 30-year relationship with Calgary Transit.

Calgary Transit unveiled the first of its new S200 light rail vehicles on January 15, 2016 at its Oliver Bowen Maintenance Facility. The vehicles were designed and manufactured by Siemens based on direct input from the riding public and Calgary Transit. Siemens has provided trains to Calgary Transit for more than 30 years and employed bold new thinking and intensive collaboration with the customer to design the best possible vehicle for the more than 325,000 Calgarians who use the light rail system every day.

“Siemens has provided Calgary with its entire light rail fleet of vehicles since 1981 and we’re excited to look towards the future with the introduction of the new S200 light rail vehicle. Calgary Transit runs one of North America’s largest light rail systems and we’re honoured to collaborate with them to provide Calgarians with the latest technologies that will improve the riders’ experience, operation and maintenance, and overall mobility in and around Calgary,” said Patrick O’Neill, Vice President, Mobility, Siemens Canada Limited.

Unique to the approach is that Siemens designed the light rail vehicles specifically to withstand the challenging Calgary environment by including heated, slip-resistant flooring, thermal insulated walls, triple-pane windows with low solar transmittance and forced air heating and cooling system providing a comfortable passenger environment in all weather conditions. The vehicles are fitted with the most advanced corrosion protection coatings available in the industry to protect them from the elements.

The new cars will carry a maximum of 200 passengers — the same as the old ones being replaced — however the interior has been reconfigured to allow more room.

Benches designed and manufactured by Freedman Seating Company run lengthwise along the sides of the car rather than having forward facing seats, and the poles which used to be in the doorways have been removed. The reconfiguring also allows the driver and any Peace Officers on board a view of the entire length.

“Being invited to participate in the long-lasting relationship between Siemens and Calgary Transit was an opportunity that fits well with our business of supplying seats for the rail market,” said Steve Orzech, Jr., Business Development Manager, Freedman Seating. “For this project, [Freedman Seating Company] worked with Siemens and Calgary Transit to develop passenger seating, what we eventually most fittingly named the Stampede seat, which fits the needs of both parties. As a result, these seats are light-weight, extremely durable and cost effective,” added Orzech.

In true Canadian fashion, the exterior look of the S200 vehicles is inspired by the Calgary Flames goalie mask, a design chosen from among three by an online public vote held by Calgary Transit. The vehicles were also designed with passenger safety top of mind and are equipped with on-board security systems, GPS mapping displays, a roomy open design and larger windows to increase natural light and provide visual security. Green and red LED indicator lights inside the door frames also warn passengers when doors open and close.

An “infotainment” system provides route information and news updates. Back-up power systems and improved communication and diagnostics systems improve reliability and ensure issues are resolved promptly. The S200 vehicles are fully compliant with the City of Calgary’s Access Design Standards, providing barrier-free access at all vehicle doors and making them easily accessible for passengers with disabilities and those pushing strollers or transporting bicycles or bulky objects.

“It’s not just about timelines and budget but whether a project can be delivered in a way that both parties are happy with the outcome. Siemens appreciation of the importance of our project and what it means to the City of Calgary was a major factor in the success of the S200 project,” said Russell Davies, Transit Fleet Manager, Calgary Transit.

Siemens will be delivering a total of 63 S200 vehicles for the Calgary Transit light rail system as part of a contract announced in September 2013. Calgary Transit expects the new vehicles to begin operation this spring.

“Passenger seating is one of the most relevant details when gauging customer satisfaction and I’m glad that we have succeeded in developing the perfect fit for this project,” said Orzech.

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