N-Judah Will Be First Line To Receive New 3-Car Muni Trains

N-Judah Will Be First Line To Receive New 3-Car Muni Trains
Photo: Lynn Friedman/Flickr
By Shane Downing - Published on February 08, 2017.

N-Judah commuters, brace yourselves: brand-new light-rail trains, including the unprecedented phenomenon of a three-car train, are on the way.

If you ride the N-Judah (like a pro, obviously), you’re likely familiar with its crowds and long waits. According to a report from the SFMTA, weekday ridership on the N-Judah rose by 9 percent from 2008 to 2016.

Last fall, transit officials added a two-car shuttle to the N-Judah to alleviate rush-hour congestion. Now, according to SFBay.ca, the N-Judah will be the first line to receive a three-car train—comprised of the first three of Muni's brand-new light-rail vehicles. The new three-car train will run the entirety of the N-Judah’s route.

A mockup of the new streetcar design SFMTA plans to start adding to its fleet this fall. | Photo: Siemens

The new vehicles, built by Siemens Industry Inc. in Sacramento under a $1.2 billion contract, began to arrive in San Francisco last month. They're the first major upgrades made to Muni trains since the 1990s.

Testing is currently underway for the new vehicles. Their launch date will be sometime this fall, based on how well they perform, and how they integrate with Muni’s Automatic Train Control System. 

Longitudinal seating will create more standing room. | Photo: SFMTA

John Haley, director of transit for the SFMTA, told SFBay that neighbors may actually see the new train being tested on the N-Judah line in about two weeks. However, it will not be accessible to riders until later this year.

Haley also didn’t rule out the possibility of a second three-car train in the N-Judah’s future.