Coming soon to a freeway median near you

May 11, 2006 at 5:09 am (Planning, Portland)

Trimet introduces new MAX train design features.

The new trains have a streamlined look with larger windows and 12 more seats per car, since there is only one operator cab per train. Each car will have a total of 76 seats; current low-floor trains have 64 seats. Each new MAX train costs about $3.5 million. The new cars will begin service when the I-205/Portland Mall project opens in September 2009.

"One operator cab per train" means that the new trains, when not coupled, are not bidirectional. That is, the operator can't simply walk to the other end; the train must physically turn around at the end of the line. The new transit mall alignment will have a turnaround at the south end, but that means that these new trains will have to be dedicated to the line, or always have 2 car consists, both of which represent changes to current Trimet policy. And what happens when the Milwaukie line opens and the mall alignment is extended? Isn't that incredibly short sighted?

I know I have a bunch of dorky Portland planning types reading this thing; now is your chance to shine.

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