Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Don't Crash This Party: Metrolink Introduces New Railcars

While folks are celebrating Mexican St. Patrick's Day today, Metrolink is doing a little celebrating of its own, unveiling the first two of their cab control cars built in response to the September 12, 2008 tragic collision between a Metrolink train and a Union Pacific freight train in Chatsworth. Twenty-five people lost their lives and 135 were injured in the worst commuter rail accident in American history.

So today in Colton, Metrolink officials revealed their new cars, meant to ride on the opposite end of the train as the locomotive, to provide a means to control the train when it's traveling with the locomotive on the tail end. In other words, while the train appears like it's going "backwards," there is an engineer on the last car of the train controlling it, which is what happened on that tragic day on 9/12/08. The new cars, built by Hyundai Rotem of South Korea, are engineered with a "crumple zone" that maximizes structural integrity in the event of a collision while minimizing casualties. And on top of that they come with a new teal-and-silver look for the commuter rail agency, which replaces the now-unfortunate-looking logo introduced nearly 20 years ago, a brand that was designed by an Art Center College of Design student.

Check out the video above, produced by the Orange Country Transportation Authority.

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