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Bombardier lands 11-car deal with San Diego commuter line

Company will build the cars, scheduled for delivery in 2022, at its Thunder Bay plant
North Country Transit District COASTER
North County Transit District operates commuter rail lines in the San Diego area. (NCTD photo)

Bombardier officials say it’s not huge new contract, but it’s still a win for the company’s Thunder Bay plant.

The company on Thursday announced it has signed a US$43-million deal to produce 11 BiLevel commuter rail cars with the North Country Transit District (NCTD) in San Diego.

The agreement was signed on July 7, after being approved by the transit authority this past April, and includes eight coaches and three cab cars.

NCTD also has an option to purchase up to 27 more cars in the future to support its ongoing repair needs.

The deal will allow NTDC to increase frequency of service and begin state of good repair replacement of its current fleet.

“As we look to the future, NCTD will be in a position to continue moving forward, offering customers an outstanding riding experience and providing increased service along the rail line,” said Tony Kranz, NCTD board chair and an Encinitas, Calif. council member, in a release issued by Bombardier.

“With these two additional trainsets in the fleet, commuters will have a number of train runs throughout the day to meet their needs; and that really makes the decision to try transit an easy one.”

Elliot Sander, president of the Americas region for Bombardier, said he’s confident the company’s new BiLevel cars will help the transit agency improve and modernize its service to commuters travelling into and out of San Diego.

“We’re pleased to continue our long-term partnership with NCTD, not only as the manufacturer of BiLevel cars, but also as the operations and maintenance provider for both the Coaster and Sprinter rail services," he said.

"We’re proud to be working with our valued customer to provide safe and reliable transportation for the citizens of San Diego County."

All 11 cars will be built in Thunder Bay, with deliveries expected to take place in the fall of 2022. The cars will enter service that winter, following rigorous testing.