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TRAX Light Rail Cars

This page was last updated on March 18, 2015.

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Rail Service Centers

UTA maintains its fleet of light rail vehicles at two facilities. The Lovendahl Rail Service Center is located at 6800 South and about 500 West in Midvale, adjacent to the Mid-Jordan Line. The site was where the former Collett's warehouse furniture store was located, with the former warehouse building being extensively reconfigured for its new purpose. The Lovendahl location in Midvale was opened in late 1999, at the same time that initial TRAX operations were started using 23 light rail vehicles. Ten cars were added in late 2001, bringing the fleet to 33 vehicles.

The Lovendahl rail service center in Midvale was expanded in late 2004 to accommodate 29 cars recently purchased from Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority.

A second maintenance facility, known as the Jordan Rail Service Center, was opened in mid 2011, and is located at 2200 South and 900 West, adjacent to the West Valley Line. This site, too, was a former warehouse, built by ZCMI, a local chain of large department stores. It had been closed after the ZCMI stores were purchased in December 1999 by the Macy's national chain. UTA purchased the former ZCMI warehouse from Macy's in November 2007.

(A third rail service center, known as the Warm Springs Service Center, is used to maintain the cars and locomotives used on the FrontRunner commuter rail. The Warm Springs Service Center is in the former Union Pacific locomotive shop, built in 1955 and closed by Union Pacific in 1998.)


[Most recent event listed first]

July 12, 2011
UTA will begin using some of its new Siemens S-70 low-floor cars on Tuesday July 12, 2011. They will be used only between Fashion Place station on the Sandy Line, and University of Utah medical Center. More cars will be phased into use as they are delivered. (ABC 4 News, July 11, 2011)

(The Mid-Jordan and West Valley lines were opened for public use on August 7, 2011, and used the new cars exclusively. The Sugar House 'S' Line opened on December 7, 2011, and also used the new cars exclusively.)

July 1, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011 -- Some TRAX passengers in Salt Lake City and vicinity will begin riding Siemens S-70 light rail transit cars Thursday, July 7, as the cars begin entering revenue service. The S-70 cars will enter limited service on direct trains that operate from Fashion Place Station (6400 South) in Murray to the University of Utah Medical Center Station on weekdays. The new trains will be featured on 10 northbound and 10 southbound trips each day. (Railway Age, online news, July 1, 2011)

March 2011
"On Feb. 7, UTA began testing the first of 77 new Siemens S-70 low-floor LRT cars, with plans to place some of the cars in revenue service by spring." (Progressive Railroading, March 2011)

Mid June 2010
The Utah Transit Authority received the first ten of 77 new, low-to-the-ground TRAX cars that allow people who use wheelchairs and walkers to board without a separate platform or a driver's help. Each $3.6 million Siemens S-70 Low-Floor Light Rail car has four doors, two of which are equipped with push buttons at the arm level for someone in a wheelchair. When activated, the doors open and a small ramp comes down, acting as a bridge onto the train. The first cars were moved for testing and evaluation, to Daybreak South Station at the end of the under-construction Mid-Jordan Line. The cars were manufactured in Sacramento, California. Design began about 10 years ago, when transit authorities in Salt Lake City, San Diego and Denver paid Siemens USA $10 million each to begin designing such a train. Salt Lake City is the first to get the cars. Ten of the planned 77 cars had been delivered, with the others to be delivered throughout 2011 and early 2012. (Deseret News, June 18, 2010; Salt Lake Tribune, June 18, 2010)

May 2008
TRAX orders 77 LRT cars from Siemens -- Siemens Transportation Systems has landed an order for 77 S-70 light rail cars, worth $277 million, from Salt Lake City's TRAX light rail system, with an option for 180 additional cars. The 77-car order reportedly is the largest LRT vehicle purchase ever made by a U.S. locale from Siemens, surpassing the company's delivery of 55 cars to Denver's Regional Transportation District. Siemens will manufacture the cars at its plant in Sacramento, California. Utah Transit Authority is overseeing the addition of four light rail lines, including a link to Salt Lake City International Airport, to its existing two-route system connecting Salt Lake City points and Sandy. TRAX currently operates with 69 light rail vehicles, also provided by Siemens, which UTA acquired as part of an option placed by the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. TRAX began operations in December 1999. (Railway Age, Daily Rail Industry News, May 15, 2008)

November 21, 2007
UTA announced that it had purchased the old ZCMI warehouse at 2200 South and 900 West, at the crossroads of Interstate 15 and 2100 South. The warehouse, with a total of 320,000 square feet, sitting on 24 acres, would be totally reconfigured as a maintenance facility for light rail vehicles. UTA purchased the empty warehouse from Macy's department store, for a reported $10 million. (Deseret News, November 22, 2007, "Wednesday")

March 2006
UTA has received and will refurbish 29 Bombardier/UTDC cars from the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. (Railway Age, March 2006)

UTA had the following on one of its web pages (now removed). "29 Used UTDC Vehicles -- These vehicles were purchased in 2004 from the Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority (VTA) in San Jose. The cost for each vehicle was approximately $250,000. New light rail vehicles cost $2.5 to $3 million. These vehicles are in the process of being upgraded to run on UTA's system."

December 4, 2004
UTA held an opening ceremony for its expanded Lovendahl Rail Service Center in Midvale. The expansion would allow UTA to begin doing heavy maintenance on its fleet of light rail cars, which were now five years old, and required heavier work on the trucks, motors and gear boxes. Included in the expansion were additional tracks that would allow cars to be stored outside, instead of inside the rail center. Without the improvements at the service center, work limited to doing what was only light maintenance, and what is known as "running repair." Also, UTA now had 69 cars, including used 29 cars recently purchased from California, and these previously owned cars would need heavier work on a regular basis. The 94,000-square-foot service center was now dedicated entirely to the cleaning, repair and service of TRAX vehicles. Daily ridership was reported as 43,000. (Deseret Morning News, November 28, 2004)

June 2002
During June 2002, UTA borrowed two Santa Clara County VTA LRVs built by UTDC in 1987, to check their compatibility with the TRAX system.

January 2002
UTA announced that it would spend $1.1 million to study the purchase 25 light rail cars from San Jose, California. If the 15-year-old San Jose cars are purchased, the purchase price was reported as $25 to 35 million, depending on the work to be done to bring the cars up to UTA standards. This was compared to $90 million if UTA was to purchase all-new cars. San Jose has changed to a low-floor, walk-in design, and has declared a surplus of 50 light rail cars, which have a three-step entry design, the design also used by UTA. (Salt Lake Tribune, January 24, 2002)

During 2002, TRAX's system had 33 light rail cars and two routes. The original Salt Lake City to Sandy line, with 17.3 total miles of track, was completed in December 1999, and the later University Extension, 2.3 miles was completed in December 2001, just in time for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.

December 2001
The last of ten additional SD-160 light rail vehicles was delivered by Siemens Transportation Systems to UTA in December 2001, just in time for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. (Railway Age, September 2003)

June 1999
Utah Transit Authority has asked for letters of interest for the supply of up to 52 new light rail cars compatible with its present fleet of 23 Siemens SD-100 cars. At least 26 of the new cars must be ready for service by Nov. 1, 2001, to help handle visitors to the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. (Railway Age, June 1999)

October 1996
The Utah Transit Authority will pay $2 million apiece for 23 SD-100 six-axle articulated vehicles for service on a 15-mile light rail line that will go under construction in Salt Lake City next year. The $46 million contract was awarded last month to the Siemens Transportation Systems Mass Transit Division of Sacramento, California. The car shells will be built in Carson, California, then sent to Sacramento for final assembly and testing. The first car is expected to be delivered in spring 1998. Construction of the light rail system is to begin in 1997, with revenue service planned before the end of 2000. (Railway Age, October 1996)

The new light rail cars were purchased at a reduced price because San Diego decided not to exercise an option it had for the 23 cars. The cars have upgrades similar to the cars recently furnished to Denver, prompting a change in the model designation from SD-100, to SD-160. (Railway Age, September 2003)

Equipment Listing

Qty. Builder Builder
UTA 1001-1023 23 Siemens USA SD-100 1998
UTA 1024-1033 10 Siemens USA SD-160 2001
UTA 1034-1040 7 Siemens USA SD-160 2003
UTA 1101-1177 77 Siemens USA SD-70 2010

In 2004, UTA received 29 high-floor light rail vehicles built by Urban Transportation Development Corporation (UTDC) in 1987 for Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority (VTA). There were a total of 50 UTDC cars used by VTA, which retired the cars in 2003. UTA planned to refurbish these 29 cars and operate them numbered as UTA 1041-1069.

(Read the Wikipedia article about Santa Clara VTA light rail)

More Information

Siemens SD-100 (DC) and SD-160 (AC) Light Rail Vehicle (Wikipedia)

Siemens SD-70 Light Rail Vehicle (Wikipedia)