Siemens S70

The Siemens S70 or Avanto is a low-floor light-rail vehicle (LRV) or streetcar manufactured by Siemens Mobility, a division of Siemens AG.

Siemens S70
LYNX Car 104 at TremontStation.jpg
Siemens S70 car for the Lynx Blue Line in Charlotte, North Carolina
ManufacturerSiemens Mobility
ReplacedSiemens SD660
Entered service2004–present
Articulated sections3–5
Electric system(s)750 V DC overhead lines
25 kV AC overhead lines
Current collection methodPantograph
Multiple workingYes
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 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.[1] 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.[2]

Size and configurationEdit

Diagram of the Siemens S70 (LRV version)

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 (2,743 mm) 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 (27.74 m)[3] and 96 feet (29.26 m),[4] but the 77 cars used by Utah Transit Authority for the Salt Lake City-area TRAX system and the 65 4000 series & 45 5000 series cars on the San Diego Trolley Are only 81 feet (24.69 m) long.[3][5] 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 ft 4 18 in).[2][6]

Portland, Oregon's two orders of S70s are single-ended cars, with one non-driving end (shown).

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.[7]

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.[2]

Usage and current ordersEdit

United StatesEdit

Streetcar version of the S70 on the Atlanta Streetcar
  • 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.[8] 14 more units were ordered in 2019.[9]

San Diego Trolley Siemens S70
  • 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;[10] the order was later increased to 65 'streetcar length' S70s in 2012.[5] All of the S70 vehicles are in service.[11] 45 additional units,[12] first entered service April 2019.[13] 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.[14] Four additional units purchased in 2008 and in service by March 2010 to keep up with higher than expected ridership.[15] 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.[14]
    • 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.[16] The S70 streetcars are a compact version of the S70 light rail vehicles [17] that currently operate on the LYNX Blue Line. The cost to purchase these six vehicles and spare parts is $40,400,000.[18]
  • MAX Light Rail, Portland, Oregon: 22 units purchased. Order for 21 cars announced on May 11, 2006;[19] later expanded by one car. Entered service starting in August 2009.[20] Order placed 2012 for another 18 cars.[21][22]
  • Tide Light Rail, Norfolk, Virginia: 9 cars, ordered in 2007. First cars delivered October 2009.[23] 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.[6][15]
  • Metro Transit, Twin Cities, Minnesota: 59 purchased with 40 options. Delivery began in 2012, with the first unit entering service in February 2013.[24] In October 2015, the option was exercised for five additional vehicles at a cost of $20 million.[25]
  • Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Atlanta, Georgia: 4 cars, ordered in 2011.[26] 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.[27] The first of the streetcars was delivered on February 17, 2014,[28] and began passenger service on December 30, 2014.[29][30]
Sound transit Siemens S70
  • Sound Transit Link Light Rail, Seattle, Washington: 152 units on order.[31] Of these, an order for 122 was placed in September 2016[32] and delivery began in 2019.[33] This $554 million contract was the largest contract in Sound Transit's history. The order was expanded by 30 cars in spring 2017.[31] 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.[34]
  • Orange County Transportation Authority, Orange County, California: 8 units ordered in March 2018 for the under construction OC Streetcar light rail line.[35]
  • Sacramento Regional Transit, Sacramento, California: 20 units ordered initially with options for a total of 76 new vehicles to replace the existing fleet of 36 original Siemens-Duewag U2A light rail vehicles, 40 CAF SRV-I light rail vehicles, and 20 recently refurbished second hand Urban Transportation Development Corporation light rail vehicles. [36]


An Avanto tram-train car on Île-de-France tramway Line 4

Cancelled ordersEdit

  • 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.[39] A new line currently under construction will instead use locally-assembled Alstom Citadis Spirit vehicles.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Light rail vehicles and streetcars". Siemens Industry, Inc. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
  2. ^ a b c d Haydock, David (April 2011). "France's first real tram train". Today's Railways. Platform 5 Publishing Ltd. pp. 37–40.
  3. ^ a b "San Diego Trolley, Inc. Light Rail Vehicles" (PDF). San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. January 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-07-09. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
  4. ^ "Siemens - S70 Low-Floor Light Rail Vehicle" (PDF). Siemens.
  5. ^ a b "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.
  6. ^ a b "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. Archived from the original on February 24, 2012. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "Siemens S70 Data Sheet - Houston" (PDF). Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  9. ^ "Houston METRO orders more Siemens light-rail vehicles". Progressive Railroading. February 6, 2019. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  10. ^ "Siemens wins San Diego light rail contract". Metro Magazine. 2009-10-07. Retrieved 2011-10-23.
  11. ^ "Siemens S70 Data Sheet - San Diego" (PDF). Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  12. ^ "San Diego MTS unveils 5000-series Siemens Trolley cars". Metro Magazine.
  13. ^ N Ford Transit System Films - YouTube (2019-04-20). "MTS Trolley - 5000 Series Siemens S70 First Day in Service on the Blue Line".
  14. ^ a b "Repairs for LYNX trains to cost $6.5M". January 6, 2012. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  15. ^ a b "Siemens announces biggest US light rail order". Railway Gazette International. 2008-05-15. Archived from the original on 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
  16. ^ "Siemens finalizes S70 streetcar deal with Charlotte". Railway Age. November 29, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  17. ^ "Siemens S70 Rendering". Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  18. ^ "Construction and vehicle contracts awarded for CityLYNX Gold Line Phase 2 project". Charlotte Area Transit. November 28, 2016. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  19. ^ "Siemens Lands $75M Portland Rail Contract". Business Wire via Mass Transit magazine. May 12, 2006. Retrieved 2009-11-08.
  20. ^ Redden, Jim (August 6, 2009). "TriMet puts new light-rail cars on track". Portland Tribune. Archived from the original on August 31, 2009. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  21. ^ Rose, Joseph (July 31, 2012). "TriMet asks cramped MAX riders to help design next-generation train's seating". The Oregonian. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  22. ^ "Siemens S70 Data Sheet - Portland" (PDF). Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  23. ^ Messina, Debbie (October 7, 2009). "Light-rail cars arrive in Norfolk". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 2009-11-08.
  24. ^ "New light rail vehicles begin service". Rider's Almanac. Metro Transit. February 20, 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  25. ^ "Siemens wins new contracts for light-rail lines". Train's News Wire. October 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  26. ^ Atlanta orders Siemens Avanto [sic] streetcars Railway Gazette International. May 20, 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-20.
  27. ^ Wheatley, Thomas (May 22, 2011). "Downtown streetcar to be built by Siemens". Creative Loafing Atlanta. Retrieved 2017-07-16.
  28. ^ Wheatley, Thomas (February 17, 2014). "Mysterious streetcar-like object spotted in Downtown". Creative Loafing Atlanta. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
  29. ^ Kimberly Turner (December 30, 2014). "It's Official: Atlanta Has a Streetcar! Photos From the First Day". Curbed Atlanta. Retrieved 2014-12-30.
  30. ^ "Siemens S70 Data Sheet - Atlanta" (PDF). Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  31. ^ a b "Sound Transit to order 30 additional light rail vehicles" (Press release). Sound Transit. April 27, 2017. Retrieved 2017-07-16.
  32. ^ "Siemens to build 122 S70 light rail vehicles for Sound Transit's expanding system". Siemens. September 29, 2016. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  33. ^ Guevara, Natalie (19 June 2019). "Wider center, digital signs: Improvements abound in new Sound Transit light rail cars". Hearst. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  34. ^ "Siemens to build eleven light rail vehicles for Phoenix". Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  35. ^ Vantuono, William C. (March 28, 2018). "Siemens selected for OC Streetcar". Railway Age. Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  36. ^ "SacRT Purchases New Low-Floor Light Rail Vehicles". Retrieved April 22, 2020. External link in |website= (help)
  37. ^ Tramways & Urban Transit, February 2007, p. 64. Light Rail Transit Association (UK).
  38. ^ a b "Siemens tram-train arrives in Mulhouse". Tramways & Urban Transit, January 2010, p. 27. Light Rail Transit Association (UK).
  39. ^ Jake, Rupert (2007-09-19). "City slapped with another light-rail lawsuit". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 2009-11-08.

External linksEdit