SEPTA Board Approves Purchase of Multi-Level Coaches for Regional Rail

SEPTA Board Approves Purchase of Multi-Level Coaches for Regional Rail

Initiative Key to Addressing Ridership Growth & Improving Customer Service

The SEPTA Board today approved the purchase of multi-level coaches for Regional Rail — a key part in the authority’s efforts to meet the needs of a growing railroad ridership.

SEPTA will purchase 45 multi-level coaches, with an option for 10 more, from CRRC MA Corp. As part of the Request for Proposal process, SEPTA received proposals from CRRC and two other companies, Bombardier and Hyundai Rotem:

  • CRRC MA: $137,480,000 for base-order of 45 coaches; $161 million with 10-coach option
  • Bombardier: $171,528,744 base; $197,894,224 with option
  • -Hyundai Rotem: $184,761,928 base; $214,221,928 with option

The contract award was based on technical rating and pricing. SEPTA determined the CRRC proposal was the best value and most advantageous for the Authority. The new multi-level coaches will meet “Buy America” requirements, with 60 percent or more of the parts, labor and fabrication done domestically.

“This contract award allows SEPTA to advance a major service-improvement initiative at a cost that fits within our budget constraints,” said SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon Sr. “We look forward to seeing the new multi-level coaches in service for our customers.”

The first of the new multi-level coaches are expected to be delivered in late 2019. The coaches will be paired with SEPTA’s new electric locomotives, which are currently being manufactured by Siemens. The multi-level coaches will be produced primarily at CRRC MA’s main U.S. manufacturing facility in Springfield, Mass. CRRC MA is a subsidiary of the largest railcar manufacturer in the world.

“SEPTA’s Regional Rail ridership has grown by more than 50 percent over the last 15 years,” said SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel. “The addition of new multi-level coaches and electric locomotives are critical for expanding capacity and meeting the needs of our riders. These fleet upgrades will play a key role in advancing SEPTA’s Regional Rail Service Improvement Program” (

The Regional Rail Improvement Program is a comprehensive effort to address travel demand, on-time performance and overall service by renewing infrastructure, upgrading the rail fleet, utilizing new technologies and bolstering the workforce, along with other initiatives. For details about the program, please visit