Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), Metro-North Railroad (MNR) and Connecticut DOT (ConnDOT)

M-Series Electric Multiple Units

New York & Connecticut

For nearly four decades, LTK has amassed an extensive history of involvement with the M-series Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) rail cars, assisting the LIRR, MNR and ConnDOT during every M-series procurement, for a total of nearly 2,500 cars.

MNR and ConnDOT are embarking on a major capital program with the objective of improving rider comfort and increasing passenger-carrying capacity along the New Haven Line. This program consists of the purchase of a new fleet of Electric Multiple Unit railcars, designated the M-8 Car, which will be used to replace some existing M-2 equipment and expand the fleet to meet increases in ridership. LTK will support the Metro North and ConnDOT during the procurement process by providing a full complement of management, engineering and inspection services. /uploadedImages/LTK/Project_Experience/Sub_Project_Experience/image001.jpg

LTK helped MNR and ConnDOT define M-8 car design requirements and move the program from conceptual design and specification development through to Contractor selection. LTK prepared technical specifications, assisted with evaluations of proposals and is currently participating in the design review process.

Since 1997, LTK has supported LIRR and MNR in the procurement of Bombardier-built M-7 cars, providing design and procurement services, including car and subsystem configuration, technical specification, contractor/supplier proposal review, procurement program technical support, and quality assurance.

Like earlier M-series cars, the M-7 operates on a 750 Vdc third rail system. The M-7 cars, which replaced the M-1s, continue the design evolution of the M-series by incorporating state-of-the-art propulsion technology, including ac drive to avoid the maintenance expense associated with dc traction motors and to improve reliability. The M-7 makes widespread use of microprocessor technology, including safety-related systems such as the cab signal system. The cars also feature a cellular digital packet data (CDPD) modem to transfer information between the train and wayside for route configuration and maintenance data, and GPS triggering of automatic station announcement for passenger convenience.

LTK’s original involvement in the M-series cars began in 1967 with the procurement of the original M-1 EMUs. The M-1 and M-1a cars were developed for the LIRR and the Harlem & Hudson Lines of what is now MNR. A total of 772 M-1 Budd-built cars were purchased by LIRR and 178 M-1a GE-built cars were purchased by MNR and in service by 1973. These cars have been the workhorses of the LIRR and MNR EMU fleets for more than a quarter century.

The GE-built, M-2 cars, used on the New Haven Line, were in service by the mid-1970s. The M-2 featured design improvements including motor suspension and clean air ventilation. NJ TRANSIT Arrow II and III cars incorporated the M-2 suspension and ventilation design improvements, while SEPTA Silverliner IV also adopted the designs. The M-2 series was the first of the M cars to operate on both 600 Vdc third rail and 12kV catenary power.

The Budd-produced M-3 and M-3a cars were in service by the early 1980s, used by LIRR (M-3) and Metro-North (M-3a).
The M-4 and M-6 cars, ordered for the New Haven Line, represented design evolutions incorporating updated technology to achieve improved reliability and maintainability. The Tokyu Car built M-4 cars for Metro-North went into service in the late 1980s, while the Morrison-Knudsen-built M-6 cars were in service by the end of the 1990s.

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New Jersey Transit

Multi-Level Commuter Rail Car Procurement

New Jersey

LTK led the effort to assist NJ Transit’s program to procure multi-level cars for service throughout the New Jersey commuter rail system, including the Northeast Corridor. The project began in 2000 with LTK staff members analyzing the feasibility of multi-level commuter car operation on the corridor. The firm prepared concept specifications for the vehicles and conducted an industry review. /uploadedImages/LTK/Project_Experience/Sub_Project_Experience/image003.jpg

This assignment required the development of a new vehicle concept that addressed the unique NJ Transit operating conditions, such as tunnel restrictions and high-level, as well as low-level platform stations. The design also needed to comply with the latest FRA regulations and APTA standards. The multi-level cars feature four doorways per vehicle side and efforts were made to maximize seating capacity while maintaining passenger comfort and enhancing passenger flow. LTK worked with NJ Transit to analyze its requirements, as well as with potential car builders and vehicle subsystem suppliers to review and assess the feasibility of alternative arrangements and designs for this application.

LTK’s involvement on this program has covered the full range of pre-award and procurement management and technical support, including proposal review process and car builder negotiations.

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Trinity Railway Express

Commuter Rail Service Planning, Design and Implementation

Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas    

One of America’s fastest growing new commuter rail systems – the Trinity Railway Express – opened as scheduled in 1996. Supporting Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) since 1990, LTK provided all program management services and engineering support to develop, design and implement start-up rail service between downtown Dallas and Irving. An LTK advisor reported directly to DART’s Senior Vice President of Project Management to provide project oversight and direction. Service on the corridor was extended to downtown Fort Worth, with a station at Centreport providing convenient bus transfer service to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

LTK’s responsibilities initially included implementation studies, site selection, environmental assessments and community input. Staff members also facilitated negotiations between DART and all major players in the impacted corridor including: the Cities of Dallas and Fort Worth (joint owners of the rail corridor); the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroads, (operating freight on the corridor); and, a consortium of five railroads (joint owners of Union Station).

/uploadedImages/LTK/Project_Experience/Sub_Project_Experience/image005.jpgOnce all agreements were completed in 1994, LTK’s emphasis shifted to the selection, procurement and overhaul of 13 1950s-vintage Budd Company Rail Diesel Cars (RDC). LTK prepared a rehabilitation specification and had direct responsibility for the management of the RDC remanufacturing contract. LTK followed the cars through their warranty period.

Activities also included engineering design and construction contract preparation and award for a new equipment maintenance facility, two commuter rail stations and one joint commuter rail/light rail station. Negotiations continued with the railroads, cities and the Federal Transit Administration over the funding, design and construction of capacity improvements to the single-track corridor that would permit simultaneous operation of freight and passenger operations. Both new tracks and railroad signal improvements were required.

The final project stage included developing a scope of services for an independent contractor to operate the service and maintain the vehicles and equipment maintenance facility, negotiating with the proposers and supervising start-up efforts.

LTK continues to support DART with on-call vehicle engineering services as the highly successful Trinity Railway Express begins its second decade of service.

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Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet)

New Start Commuter Rail Service

Portland, Oregon

Commuter Rail Systems

Among LTK’s family of clients, no agency is better equipped to assess LTK’s systems engineering skills, than TriMet. Over the past quarter century, and several major projects, LTK has helped TriMet create a rail system that has earned international acclaim. The firm has participated in the Washington County Commuter Rail, Banfield Corridor Light Rail Project, Banfield Double-Tracking Project, Westside Corridor Light Rail Extension, Hillsboro Light Rail Extension, Airport Light Rail Extension, Interstate Light Rail Extension, I-205 PE and Final Design, and Mall Final Design. Throughout this development period, LTK has served and continues to serve as TriMet’s consultant for systems engineering. This level of continuous client service is rare and stands as a clear testimony to the quality of our work. LTK’s vehicle and systems design solutions for TriMet’s light rail and commuter rail systems demonstrate the firm’s sensitivity to environmental and community concerns.

LTK has also had the privilege of providing additional services to TriMet through several task order-type contracts, providing expertise in all elements of systems engineering including, for example, discrete design tasks, equipment modification programs, equipment tests and failure investigations and employee maintenance training programs.

Washington County New Start Commuter Rail Service

Washington County led a regional effort to plan a circumferential commuter rail line in the western suburbs of Portland, Oregon. Making use of a lightly utilized freight railroad, morning and afternoon peak service will be provided, linking the communities of Wilsonville, Tualatin, Tigard and Beaverton. Trains will connect with local buses at all stations including the TriMet light rail system at Beaverton. LTK's responsibilities on the project covered preliminary engineering of rolling stock, signal and communications systems, train storage and maintenance facilities.

Implementation of this project now has become the responsibility of the region’s primary transit agency, TriMet. During the Final Design and Construction/ Procurement phases, LTK assisted with activities associated with the vehicles, the communications system and the maintenance facility.

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Mid-Region Council of Governments (MRCOG) and New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT)

Procurement of Commuter Rail Rolling Stock

Albuquerque, New Mexico

In 2003, New Mexico set forth an aggressive state-wide transportation improvement program that included commuter rail for the first time. MRCOG and the NMDOT began the process of establishing a new-start commuter rail operation on a “fast track” schedule. Starting in late 2005, commuter service linked Albuquerque with Belen on the south and Bernalillo on the north using existing BNSF trackage. The service will eventually be extended northward to Santa Fe.
Given the need to move quickly, MRCOG selected LTK to assist with commuter rail rolling stock procurement activities. LTK reviewed the market availability of suitable used coaches. Sources considered included Virginia Railway Express, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (New York); and Metra (Chicago). Characteristics of available equipment were summarized and problem areas (e.g., ADA compliance difficulties, presence of asbestos and lead-based paint) were noted. Ultimately, the decision was made to procure new coaches.

LTK then reviewed active car procurements to identify opportunities for MRCOG to utilize an option to order suitable cars on an existing contract with another agency. A planned Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) equipment order was identified as a possible candidate contract. Unfortunately, the cars could not be delivered in the desired time frame and the SCRRA procurement was subsequently delayed due to bidder protest.

In order to progress the car procurement, LTK quickly developed a procurement specification calling for supply of new or used bi-level coaches of a service-proven design. The RFP was released in July 2004 with proposals required in August 2004. Bombardier was subsequently selected to build 10 bi-level cars, with delivery in August and September of 2005.

LTK evaluated options for passenger locomotives, including new units, rebuilt units and existing serviceable units (e.g., Amtrak P40 locomotives). The cost, service life and delivery schedule of each option was considered. After consideration of all options and preliminary sale negotiations, MRCOG exercised an order option with the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission to purchase up to five MP36PH-3C passenger locomotives from Motive Power, Inc. of Boise, ID.

Thanks to LTK efforts, new commuter rolling stock was available to support the promised 2005 service start-up date.  LTK is currently managing procurement of 12 additional coaches and 4 more locomotives.

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Northstar Corridor Development Authority

Northstar Corridor Project

Anoka County, Minnesota

The Northstar Corridor, which extends some 80 miles between downtown Minneapolis and the cities of Rice and St. Cloud, MN, is one of the fastest growing in the nation. It is served by interstate and state highways, and the transcontinental mainline of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. The objective of the Northstar Corridor project is to define an appropriate commuter rail service to link the two terminal cities and intermediate communities.
When evaluating service on the Northstar Corridor, the Northstar Corridor Development Authority, a joint powers agency of cities and counties, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation turned to LTK Engineering Services for expertise. The firm developed operational concepts and assisted with reviews and determinations of rail capacity improvement. Staff members provided maintenance facility layout and design assistance while also working with MinnDot during a difficult site selection process. LTK served as a facilitator for a variety of other potential challenges.

Working in the preliminary engineering phase of this project from 1999 to 2001, LTK developed and evaluated alternative operating plans and service concepts, analyzed alternative track configurations; evaluated the operating implications of alternative station locations, and provided conceptual signal layouts, together with the associated cost estimates. Rolling stock options appropriate to the operating concepts, and consistent with demand forecasts, were analyzed, with fleet requirements identified, and a conceptual car and locomotive design framework prepared. Alternative maintenance and operating facility sites were evaluated, and a maintenance facility design consistent with the rolling stock concept, including storage yard and access trackage, was prepared. The firm also evaluated and recommended appropriate car and locomotive technology for this service.

Infrastructure cost estimates, provided by LTK, included components, labor, materials, engineering services, as well as overhead and expenses. These estimates focused on the extensive improvements to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe infrastructure required to accommodate fast and reliable commuter rail frequencies on a busy freight mainline, as well as on the signaling and track requirements unique to the commuter rail operation itself. The improvements addressed were interlockings, automatic signal locations, passing sidings and grade crossing protection. Cost estimates for the fleet of cars and locomotives required to operate the service, and the maintenance facility and yard, also were prepared.

LTK is currently providing Engineering Services and Technical Support for the final design and engineering of the Northstar Commuter Rail Project (Including LRT Connection) which includes technical oversight of the commuter rail final design, completion of LRT systems final design, and procurement of Commuter Rail and Light Rail rolling stock and fare collection equipment.
LTK is also assisting Metropolitan Council /Metropolitan Transit in overseeing the

esign/construction of the systems elements of the Hiawatha Corridor. The firm also is assisting with separate contracts to procure system wide fare collection equipment and the new low-floor car fleet. The total cost of the project is $675 million of which $160 million are for systems elements.

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Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA)

Multi-Level Commuter Rail Cars and Diesel-Electric Locomotives


Since the inception of the SCRRA more than a decade ago, LTK has played a key role in the development of its commuter rail service. LTK’s involvement spans four major rolling stock procurement projects, five procurements of commuter rail locomotives, and a program to remanufacture F-40 locomotives for SCRRA commuter rail services.

LTK prepared design specifications for the SCRRA multi-level rail cars. LTK staff members were involved in the evaluation of new features and performance requirements for vehicle subsystems for compatibility and applicability to SCRRA service and facilities. Simultaneously, LTK worked with SCRRA staff to develop a cost-effective specification for the remanufacture of existing F-40 locomotives to be used in SCRRA revenue service. Tasks for this remanufacture included assessing the FRA regulations and APTA Standards and Recommended Practices as each applies to the remanufacture process, as well as to SCRRA’s specific requirements. LTK supported the pre-award evaluation process for both the latest multi-level rail car and remanufacture programs and provided technical, management and inspection support throughout both procurements.

SCRRA’s fleet of 146 multi-level commuter rail cars, including 37 cab cars and 109 trailer cars, was purchased under three separate contracts. A total of 37 locomotives were purchased during the first four procurement programs. Currently on order are 107 multi-level commuter rail cars, including 53 cab cars and 54 trailer cars, and 15 MP36PH 3C locomotives. On all of the rail car and locomotive contracts, LTK led the specification development effort, was a member of the contract negotiation teams, and provided technical, management and inspection services. The support provided on these procurements included activities related to a review of engineering and design submittals, evaluation of test procedures and reports, vehicle and system configuration management, in-plant and at-site inspection, commissioning and acceptance of vehicles. LTK was also involved with close-out of the various contracts, administration of the warranty provisions for rolling stock and facilities, and review of proposed enhancements and modifications.

LTK has also provided specialized support to SCRRA over the years covering accident investigations and evaluation of repairs. The firm’s experts have worked with the SCRRA staff to develop and evaluate maintenance activities and identify equipment modifications. LTK has also qualified suppliers and contractors for overhaul and service work, provided inspection services, and conducted studies related to product failures and product improvements.

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Engineering for Rail Car Programs

Northern Illinois

LTK is part of a team providing rail vehicle engineering services to Metra in its efforts to expand and upgrade the rolling stock for its Northern Illinois commuter rail system. A $336 million procurement of 250 multi-level Gallery commuter rail cars (plus 50 option cars) from Nippon Sharyo is underway; this marks the largest rail car procurement in Metra history. Nippon Sharyo is also the builder for Metra’s order of 26 Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) cars, while Motive Power, Inc. is supplying 26 locomotives. 


Notice-to-Proceed for the Gallery Cars and the new locomotives was given in February 2001. LTK’s involvement in the Gallery Car program includes engineering services for electrical systems, structural issues, trucks, fire safety, metallurgy, waste retention, doors, windows and seats. LTK is providing quality control services at the carbuilder’s facility in Japan. Delivery of the first cars was made in late 2002 and testing, acceptance and training continues in Chicago. The final cars were delivered in 2004. For the new locomotives, LTK’s duties include Head End Power (HEP), trucks and fire safety analysis. The first group of locomotives has been delivered and accepted. Training was conducted on these locomotives.

For the EMU procurement, LTK provided engineering services for electrical and propulsion systems, structural issues, trucks, EMC/EMI, fire safety, metallurgy and welding, compliance with FRA regulations and APTA standards, and doors, windows and seats. LTK also provided on-site quality control inspection services at the manufacturing facility in Japan. The NTP for the design phase of the EMU project was given to Nippon Sharyo in December 2002

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