NJT makes move to replace Arrow III rail cars

Photos: NJT Arrow III cars at Princeton Junction, 12/31/2000

New Jersey Transit has announced a desire to replace their fleet of Arrow III electric multiple unit (EMU) rail cars. The media reports than an RFP has been issued, but I see no evidence of it on the NJT website. NJT also stated a desire to have more EMU sets running on local routes. Today, locomotive-hauled train sets cover some or many local runs.

NJ Transit officials have put out requests for proposals to replace the aging cars with similar cars that are powered by motors in each car instead of being hauled by a locomotive, said Richard Sarles, NJ Transit executive director.

Electric-Multiple Unit cars (EMUs) are better for high-density rail lines with more stops, Sarles said.

“Certain areas need quick acceleration,” Sarles said.

I hope these new EMU cars incorporate at least two elements of SEPTA’s new “Silverliner V” EMU cars:

  1. the railfan window
  2. the railfan window seat

Here’s a Railway Age article from June 2006 that discusses the specs being drawn up for the Arrow III replacements, the Arrow IV, and related dual-mode multiple unit (DMMU) cars.

NJT’s 230 Arrow III electric multiple-units will be replaced with the Arrow IV. A sister vehicle to the Arrow IV will be a “DMMU” (dual-mode multiple unit), which will use the same basic architecture (carbody, trucks, propulsion control, a.c. traction motors, HVAC, door controls, cabs, etc.) as the EMU and share a common “A” car. Both vehicles will be configured as married pairs–the EMU as an A-B set, the DMMU as an A-D (for “diesel”) set. The EMU will have all 8 axles powered; its “B” car will carry pantographs, transformers, and other electrical gear. The DMMU’s “D” car will carry two diesel engine/generator sets but its axles will be non-powered.

Here is the text of today’s article in case it is removed from the newspaper’s website:

NJ Transit rail cars near end of line

By Larry Higgs • TRANSPORTATION WRITER • February 10, 2009

The silver-sided electric-powered rail cars that have plied the North Jersey Coast, Northeast Corridor and Morris and Essex lines since the late 1970s are heading for their last miles.

The oldest cars in NJ Transit fleet, known as Arrow IIIs, have been in service since NJ Transit re-electrified the Coast and Morris and Essex lines in the early 1980s. The cars ran on the Northeast Corridor before that.

NJ Transit officials have put out requests for proposals to replace the aging cars with similar cars that are powered by motors in each car instead of being hauled by a locomotive, said Richard Sarles, NJ Transit executive director.

Electric-Multiple Unit cars (EMUs) are better for high-density rail lines with more stops, Sarles said.

“Certain areas need quick acceleration,” Sarles said.

NJ Transit’s fleet includes rail cars hauled by electric locomotives, which some transit advocates had argued weren’t able to meet the start-and-stop demands of some of its rail lines. Advocates argued the rail cars were too heavy for locomotive-hauled trains to match the acceleration of EMUs. Starting in 1989, about 230 Arrows were rebuilt.

NJ Transit is acquiring the last 100 multilevel rail cars, with 200 of them on the railroad now, he said.

The new multilevel cars, which have entered service during the past two years, are heavier than single-level rail cars. NJ Transit experimented with having two electric locomotives haul a train of multilevel cars to see if they could approach the performance of EMUs, Sarles said.

While a cost for the EMU replacements isn’t known, Sarles said it would be funded through the state Transportation Trust Fund.

Source

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One Response to “NJT makes move to replace Arrow III rail cars”

  1. JayLA says:

    Does anyone know where NJT stands on the purchase of the new Arrow IV vehicles? Who will supply the cars, and when?

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