Sacramento Regional Transit District Preps for New Low-Floor TrainsWritten by Kyra Senese, Managing Editor
The Sacramento Regional Transit District is starting work on station upgrades to meet the needs of its modern new low-floor light rail trains.
The 59th Street Station will be closed during the weekend of Feb. 4-5. Gold Line light-rail service will be impacted by the station closure, and a bus bridge will be in place between the 29th Street and Power Inn stations in both directions during the closure, the agency said.
On Feb. 6, regular light-rail service will resume. Construction on the 59th Street Station modification will continue until March 3. The work, however, is not expected to disrupt light-rail service or the 59th Street Station.
“This is the beginning of a comprehensive effort to make our entire light rail system more modern, efficient and attractive to riders,” said Henry Li, Sacramento Regional Transit’s general manager/CEO. “We apologize for the temporary inconvenience as we renovate our stations; however, this is SacRT’s first step in accelerating our light rail modernization project, which will greatly improve the customer experience for all.”
Board Chair Patrick Kennedy said some inconveniences are to be expected during construction, “as there always are in capital improvement projects.”
The 59th Street Station will be the first light-rail station to be modified to accommodate the new low-floor light rail vehicles. Following the completion of work at the station, additional stations will be temporarily closed in stages. Riders will be notified in advance of any upcoming service disruptions, the agency said.
During construction, the Fare Vending Machines and Connect Card Readers at the 59th Street Station will be unavailable, so riders will need to use another station to purchase fares.
The station upgrades are a component of the Light Rail Modernization Project, which also includes the installation of a passing track to provide 15-minute service to Folsom area stations and the purchase of new low-floor light rail vehicles.
The first new low-floor light rail train, built at Siemens Mobility in south Sacramento, is scheduled to be delivered in February. It is the first of 28 trains being built for the agency by Siemens in a contract that includes the option to buy up to 76 light-rail vehicles, according to a release.
The first low-floor train is currently undergoing thorough testing before entering revenue service. The agency expects the station conversions and low-floor trains to be operational by the summer of 2024.