The 7.3-mile (around 12 Kilometer) MAX Orange Line is the region's sixth construction project of the development project Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) to expand the city's transport network to cope with the expected population growth in the Portland area. The line will improve transit in the corridor that extends from the terminus of the MAX Green and Yellow lines at Portland State University in Downtown Portland to Milwaukie and North Clackamas County.
"Siemens is proud to be a technology partner for Trimet for more than 30 years, starting in the this project is a perfect example of how advanced rail technologies can help to revitalize city centers, creating jobs and stimulating economic development", said Jochen Eickholt, CEO Siemens Mobility Division.
The newly redesigned light rail vehicles were built based on input from TriMet and riders, featuring new seating arrangements, additional wheelchair accessibility, larger windows and improved HVAC systems that automatically adjust based on the number of people in the vehicle. The vehicles also include better sight lines for the driver, more ergonomically designed main cabins, and larger displays for train operators so they are better able to monitor the vehicle's status to improve safety and efficiency. Maintenance enhancements were made based on TriMet's feedback including rearrangement of systems to increase accessibility to key components on the vehicles and improved diagnostic systems.
The innovative regenerative rail energy storage technology allows for energy created during braking to be stored and then re-used in one of two forms, energy savings or voltage stabilization during peak demand times. TriMet will utilize the system in voltage stabilization mode. In this mode, the storage unit allows the system to avoid problems disruptions that can occur in mass transit operations if power drops below a certain level. If a number of vehicles accelerate simultaneously, system voltage can drop below a critical level and result in instances of under-voltage tripping in vehicles and, consequently, lead to disruptions in passenger service. The Sitras SES ensures the system voltage always remains within the required range and voltage-related disruptions no longer occur.