The Siemens S70 or Avanto is a low-floor light rail vehicle (LRV) or tram manufactured by Siemens AG. In the United States, Siemens refers to this model only as the S70, while the Avanto name is used in Europe.
The S70 is in use, or on order, by several light rail systems in the United States.
In Europe, Siemens Combino and Avenio models are the preferred offerings for purely light rail or tramway systems, and the Avanto is principally sold to tram-train systems which, in whole or part, share their tracks with heavy rail trains. Here its principal competitors are Bombardier’s Flexity Link tram-train and Alstom’s Citadis Regio-Citadis/Citadis-Dualis tram-train variants. To date, the Avanto has been sold to two tram-train operations in France.
Size and configuration
The S70/Avanto has a modular design, and can be built in a number of different sizes and configurations.
To date, all S70s delivered in North America have had a length between 91 feet (28 m) and 96 feet (29 m), but the 77 cars currently on order by Salt Lake City's TRAX system and the 65 cars on order for the San Diego Trolley will be only 81 feet (24.7 m) long. The Avantos built for France have a length of 36.68 m (120.3 ft).
While most S70 vehicles are double-ended, with operating controls at both ends, and double sided (doors on both sides), the 22 cars in service on Portland's MAX system are single-ended, with operating cabs at only one end of each car. However, they have doors on both sides, and in service they always operate in pairs, coupled back-to-back, so that each consist has operating cabs at both ends.
The S70/Avanto can be configured to operate on various combinations of power supply. The Avantos ordered for France are capable of operating on 750 V DC, when running on tram or light rail tracks, and on 25 kV AC, when running on main line tracks.
Usage and current orders
- Houston METRORail, Texas: 18 units purchased, with delivery complete in late 2004. 19 additional units on order, procured using Salt Lake City options, to be delivered starting in late 2012. The original cars are the long variant; the new cars are the shorter variant as used in Salt Lake.
- Metro Transit, Twin Cities, Minnesota: 41 purchased with 58 options. Delivery began in 2012, with the first unit entering service in early 2013. Deliveries from the initial order are expected to continue until early 2014.
- San Diego Trolley, California: 11 'full size' 92-foot (28.04 m) units purchased in first order in October 2004, with delivery complete in July 2005. A second order, for 57 81-foot (24.69 m) cars, was placed in October 2009; the order was later increased to 65 'streetcar length' S70s in 2012. All of the S70 vehicles are projected to be in service by 2014.
- LYNX Blue Line (CATS), Charlotte, North Carolina, United States: 16 units purchased, in service since November 2007. Four additional units purchased in 2008 and in service by March 2010 to keep up with higher than expected ridership.
- MAX, Portland, Oregon: 22 units purchased. Order for 21 cars announced on May 11, 2006; later expanded by one car. Entered service starting in August 2009. Order placed 2012 for another 18 cars.
- The Tide Light Rail, Norfolk, Virginia: 9 cars, ordered in 2007. First cars delivered October 2009. Entered service with the opening of the Norfolk system, in 2011.
- Utah Transit Authority: 77 units ordered; in service since August 7, 2011. The order also includes an option for 180 additional cars.
- Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Georgia: 4 cars, ordered in 2011. In May 2011 Siemens announced that it had won the $17.2 million contract to build the four streetcars that will run on the new Downtown Loop line. The vehicles are being built at Siemens’ plant in Florin, California, but with major components, including the propulsion system, assembled at Siemens' plant in Alpharetta, Georgia. The first of the streetcars was delivered on February 17, 2014.
- SNCF, Paris region: 25 tram-train units purchased. Entered service starting on November 18, 2006, with the opening of new route T4, between Aulnay-sous-Bois and Bondy. The S70 model used here is known as the Avanto.
- Mulhouse tramway, Mulhouse: 12 tram-train cars delivered, for use on an SNCF line from Mulhouse to Thann, Haut-Rhin. First unit delivered on November 6, 2009.
An order for 22 S70 cars, placed in 2006 by Ottawa, Ontario for a planned expansion of its O-Train system, was later cancelled. Political problems had resulted in cancellation of the entire expansion project, which in turn led to lawsuits by Siemens and other contractors against the City of Ottawa.
- Light rail in North America
- Siemens–Duewag U2
- Siemens SD-100 and SD-160
- Siemens SD-400
- Siemens SD-460
- "Light rail vehicles and streetcars". Siemens Industry, Inc. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
- Haydock, David (April 2011). "France's first real tram train". Today's Railways (Platform 5 Publishing Ltd). pp. 37–40.
- "San Diego Trolley, Inc. Light Rail Vehicles" (pdf). San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. January 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
- "San Diego Trolley Renewal Project Fact Sheet" (pdf). San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) & San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS). July 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
- "Siemens Breaks Its Own Record for Largest Light Rail Vehicle Order: Salt Lake City Orders 77 S70 LRVs Valued at Over $277M" (Press release). Siemens. 2008-05-15. Retrieved 2010-03-17.[dead link]
- Morgan, Steve. "Expansion for Portland's MAX: New routes and equipment", pp. 38-40. Passenger Train Journal, "2010:1" issue (1st quarter, 2010). White River Productions.
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- Redden, Jim (August 6, 2009). "TriMet puts new light-rail cars on track". Portland Tribune. Retrieved 2012-12-27.
- Rose, Joseph (July 31, 2012). "TriMet asks cramped MAX riders to help design next-generation train's seating". The Oregonian. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
- Messina, Debbie (2009-10-07). "Light-rail cars arrive in Norfolk". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 2009-11-08.
- Atlanta orders Siemens Avanto [sic] streetcars Railway Gazette International. May 20, 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-20.
- "Downtown streetcar to be built by Siemens". Creative Loafing Atlanta. 2011-05-22. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
- "Mysterious streetcar-like object spotted in Downtown". Creative Loafing Atlanta. 2014-02-17. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
- Tramways & Urban Transit, February 2007, p. 64. Light Rail Transit Association (UK).
- "Siemens tram-train arrives in Mulhouse". Tramways & Urban Transit, January 2010, p. 27. Light Rail Transit Association (UK).
- Jake, Rupert (2007-09-19). "City slapped with another light-rail lawsuit". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 2009-11-08.