|Bi-Level Coach and Cab Car|
A GO Transit train with Bombardier BiLevel coaches
Interior of a New Mexico Rail Runner Express coach
|Manufacturer||Hawker Siddeley Canada-SNC Lavalin (Can Car) and UTDC-SNC Lavalin , Bombardier Transportation|
|Built at||Fort William (Thunder Bay), Ontario|
|Capacity||136 to 162 (seated); 142 in IV series, 276 standees|
|Car body construction||Riveted or welded aluminum body on a steel frame|
|Car length||85 ft (25.91 m)|
|Width||9 ft 10 in (2.997 m)|
|Height||15 ft 11 in (4.851 m)|
|Weight||50,000 kg (110,000 lb)|
|Power supply||480 or 575 V HEP|
|Braking system(s)||Pneumatic tread brakes and disc brakes|
The Bombardier BiLevel Coach is a bilevel passenger railcar built by multiple manufacturers: Hawker Siddeley Canada-SNC Lavalin, the Canadian Car and Foundry (Can Car), the UTDC-SNC Lavalin, and Bombardier Transportation. They are designed to carry up to 360 passengers for commuter railways. These carriages are easily identifiable: they are double-decked and are shaped like elongated octagons.
The BiLevel coaches were designed by Toronto's regional commuter rail service, GO Transit and Hawker Siddeley Canada in the mid-1970s as a more efficient replacement for GO's original single-deck coaches and cab cars. Later coaches were manufactured by Urban Transportation Development Corporation/Can-Car and finally Bombardier, who now owns the designs and manufacturing facility. There are more than seven hundred such coaches in service today and almost all have been built at the company's Thunder Bay, Ontario, and Plattsburgh, New York, plants.
The coaches feature an aluminum body on a steel frame. They are 15 ft 11 in (4.851 m) high and 9 ft 10 in (2.997 m) wide, and weigh about 61,000 kg (134,000 lb). Depending on car design and seating configuration, seats are available for between 136 and 162 passengers, along with standing room. All newly built coaches now feature a washroom on the lower level; the original coaches for GO Transit have the washroom on the intermediate level in the same location where the cab is located in cab cars (see below). The coaches have two pairs of doors on each side which allow the entire coach to be emptied in 90 seconds. Some of the newer coaches have electrical outlets for laptop computers and other devices along with small tables.
One major variant is the cab car. The cab car is placed at the end of the train and features a full cab built into the end of the coach, from which the train's locomotive can be remotely controlled. This allows for push-pull operation with a faster turnaround time for trains, by avoiding having to physically turn around the train or locomotive. Unlike the similar Driving Van Trailer used by Britain's InterCity 225, the cab cars are otherwise identical to the regular coaches rather than imitating the design of the locomotive, leading to the appearance that the train is travelling 'backwards'. In 2014 Metrolinx (the provincial agency operating GO Transit) and Bombardier announced a new design for the cab car, which included a larger cab end and crash-energy management crumple zones. Sounder Commuter Rail has also purchased this type of cab car. This new series of BiLevel Cabcar are currently and eventually planned to replace all the older generation BiLevel Cabcars on both commuter rail services, those of which will be converted to normal coaches.
Most operators of these coaches use a 480 volt head end power (HEP) system for heating, lighting, and air conditioning. The only exception to this is with GO Transit which uses a 575 volt system (575 volts is a standard industrial Canadian voltage, having been previously used by CN for their Tempo cars -- also built by HS). Whenever GO has leased coaches to other agencies, a power unit has been supplied with the coaches, or when GO has leased coaches from other agencies, a locomotive with 480 volt HEP capabilities was also leased. Amtrak, Via Rail and Exo also use 480 volt HEP (480 volt is a standard industrial U.S. voltage).
|Bi-Level I coach||GO Transit,Metrolink (Southern California)||Hawker Siddeley Canada/Can Car|
|Bi-Level II coach||GO Transit, Caltrain, Trinity Railway Express, Coaster (San Diego)||Hawker Siddeley Canada/Can Car|
|Bi-Level III coach||GO Transit, Metrolink, Tri-Rail,||UTDC/Can Car|
|Bi-Level IV coach||GO Transit||UTDC/Can Car|
|Bi-Level V coach||GO Transit||UTDC/Can Car|
|Bi-Level VI coach||GO Transit, West Coast Express (some leased to GO Transit), Sounder commuter rail, New Mexico Rail Runner Express, Altamont Corridor Express, Trinity Railway Express, Caltrain||Bombardier Transportation|
|Bi-Level VII coach||GO Transit, FrontRunner, Northstar Commuter Rail, SunRail, Trinity Railway Express||Bombardier Transportation|
|Bi-Level VIII coach||GO Transit, Sounder commuter rail||Bombardier Transportation|
|Bi-Level IX coach||GO Transit, Sounder commuter rail||Bombardier Transportation|
Many North American commuter rail agencies operate Bombardier BiLevel Coaches. They include:
|Altamont Corridor Express||San Jose, California||24 cars|||
|Caltrain||San Francisco, California||41 cars|
|Coaster||San Diego, California||28 cars|||
|FrontRunner||Salt Lake City, Utah||22 cars|||
|GO Transit||Greater Toronto Area, Ontario||656 cars|||
|Metrolink||Greater Los Angeles Area, California||184 cars|||
|Northstar Line||Minneapolis, Minnesota||18 cars|
|Rail Runner Express||Albuquerque, New Mexico||22 cars|||
|Sounder||Seattle, Washington||58 cars|||
|SunRail||Orlando, Florida||20 cars|||
|Tri-Rail||Miami/Fort Lauderdale/West Palm Beach, Florida||26 cars|||
|Trinity Railway Express||Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas||17 cars|||
|West Coast Express||Vancouver, British Columbia||44 cars|||
|Exo||Montreal, Quebec||22 cars|
Kawasaki also manufactures a similar product and it is used on diesel lines of the Long Island Rail Road, the MARC Train system in Maryland, MBTA Commuter Rail in the Boston area, and, formerly, Virginia Railway Express. However, VRE has since sold their cars to MARC. Bombardier's Görlitz, Germany plant manufactures another type of double deck train car, the Bombardier Double-deck Coach.
Bombardier has also designed and is manufacturing the MultiLevel coach for New Jersey Transit, MARC and the Montreal-area Exo. This car is constructed of stainless steel similar to the Kawasaki cars purchased by the agencies listed above, but is built to a much tighter loading gauge, being only 14 feet 6 inches (4.42 m) tall.
List of rival coaches: