Siemens S70 car for the Lynx Blue Line in Charlotte, North Carolina
|Electric system(s)||750 V DC|
25 kV AC
|Current collection method||Pantograph|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
The S70 is in use, or on order, by several light rail systems in the United States, where Siemens refers to this model only as the S70. In this field, it competes mainly with Bombardier and Kinki Sharyo low-floor LRVs and modern streetcars manufactured by Inekon and Brookville Equipment Corporation.
In Europe, Siemens's Combino and Avenio models are the preferred offerings for purely light rail or tramway systems; and the same S70 model, under the name Avanto, is principally sold to tram-train systems which, in whole or part, share their tracks with heavy rail trains. In the tram-train market, its principal competitors are Bombardier’s Flexity Link tram-train and Alstom’s Regio-Citadis and Citadis-Dualis tram-train variants. To date, the Avanto has been sold to two tram-train operations in France.
Size and configurationEdit
The S70/Avanto has a modular design and can be built in a number of different sizes and configurations, including both light-rail vehicle (LRV) and streetcar versions. The streetcar version is 9 feet shorter than the standard LRV version. There are some interior differences as well: the LRV version has the upper seats facing the cab, while the streetcar version has the upper seats facing the doors of the train. In addition, the horn on the LRV version is located on the bottom of the cab while the streetcar version is located on the top of the train.
Earlier S70s delivered in North America had a length between 91 feet (28 m) and 96 feet (29 m), but the 77 cars used by Utah Transit Authority for the Salt Lake City-area TRAX system and the 65 4000 series cars on the San Diego Trolley will be only 81 feet (24.7 m) long. The SD Trolley vehicles are also designed to operate in tandem with older Siemens SD-100 vehicles, with a SD-100 sandwiched between two S70 vehicles. The Avantos built for France have a length of 36.68 m (120.3 ft).
Most S70 vehicles are double-ended, with operating controls at both ends and doors on both sides. An exception is the 40 cars in service on Portland, Oregon's MAX system, which are single-ended and have cabs at only one end of each car. However, 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 overhead power supply systems. The Avantos ordered for France are dual voltage, 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. The vehicles operating in Paris currently operate on AC only; its DC capabilities will not be used until an extension of the current line to Montfermeil is completed.
Usage and current ordersEdit
- METRORail, Houston, Texas: 18 units purchased, with delivery complete in late 2004. 19 additional units were later ordered, procured using Utah Transit Authority options, delivered starting in late 2012. The original cars are the long variant; the new cars are the shorter variant as used by UTA. 14 more units were ordered in 2019.
- San Diego Trolley, San Diego, 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 in service. 45 additional units, first entered service April 2019. To be delivered through 2020.
- Charlotte Area Transit System, Charlotte, North Carolina:
- Lynx Blue Line: 16 units purchased for $50 million, 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. In 2012, after 4 years of operation, the trains had to be repaired at the Siemens facility in California for an estimated cost of $400,000 each. CATS currently operates 42 vehicles.
- CityLynx Gold Line: Six units were purchased in 2016, with delivery by 2020. These six cars will have internal batteries to allow off-wire operations in some areas. The S70 streetcars are a compact version of the S70 light rail vehicles  that currently operate on the LYNX Blue Line. The cost to purchase these six vehicles and spare parts is $40,400,000.
- MAX Light Rail, 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.
- 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.
- TRAX, Salt Lake City, Utah: 77 units ordered; in service since August 7, 2011. The order also includes an option for 180 additional cars.
- Metro Transit, Twin Cities, Minnesota: 59 purchased with 40 options. Delivery began in 2012, with the first unit entering service in February 2013. In October 2015, the option was exercised for five additional vehicles at a cost of $20 million.
- Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Atlanta, 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 run on the Downtown Loop. The vehicles were 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, and began passenger service on December 30, 2014.
- Sound Transit Link Light Rail, Seattle, Washington: 152 units on order. Of these, an order for 122 was placed in September 2016, with delivery to start in 2019. This $554 million contract was the largest contract in Sound Transit's history. The order was expanded by 30 cars in spring 2017. The LRVs will be used for expansion of the Central Link system.
- Valley Metro Rail: 11 vehicles ordered, in June 2017, with options for up to 67 more. 
- Orange County Transportation Authority, Orange County, California: 8 units ordered in March 2018 for the proposed OC Streetcar light rail line..
- SNCF, Paris region: 25 tram-train units purchased. Entered service starting on November 18, 2006, with the opening of the Île-de-France tramway Line 4, between Aulnay-sous-Bois and Bondy in Île-de-France. 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. A new line currently under construction will instead use locally-assembled Alstom Citadis vehicles.
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- Wheatley, Thomas (February 17, 2014). "Mysterious streetcar-like object spotted in Downtown". Creative Loafing Atlanta. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
- Kimberly Turner (December 30, 2014). "It's Official: Atlanta Has a Streetcar! Photos From the First Day". Curbed Atlanta. Retrieved 2014-12-30.
- "Siemens S70 Data Sheet - Atlanta" (PDF). Retrieved February 1, 2017.
- "Sound Transit to order 30 additional light rail vehicles" (Press release). Sound Transit. April 27, 2017. Retrieved 2017-07-16.
- "Siemens to build 122 S70 light rail vehicles for Sound Transit's expanding system". Siemens. September 29, 2016. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
- "Siemens to build eleven light rail vehicles for Phoenix". www.siemens.com. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
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- Jake, Rupert (2007-09-19). "City slapped with another light-rail lawsuit". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 2009-11-08.
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