OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) — Starting Monday, North County Transit's Coaster trains running between Oceanside and San Diego will have a new look.
“They needed a facelift for sure,” says Tony Kranz, North County Transit District Board Chair.
Kranz says the new cars will offer a smoother, more dependable ride with better amenities, all of which is designed to increase ridership. The locomotives, he adds, are quieter with less emissions, which should also benefit the communities through which the trains pass.
Crews have been gradually gutting passenger cars they called “middle-aged,” adding larger more comfortable seats, upgraded power ports, new coats of paint, and better shocks, trucks, and transmissions for a smoother ride.
Money for the overhaul came from Senate Bill 1 funds and a grant from the California Air Resources Board, says Kranz.
The NCTD will continue to overhaul more train cars and have the entire fleet done by 2026. Two new locomotives and upgraded train sets will start running Monday afternoon.
NCTD Spokesperson Kimy Wall says anyone taking the train to get a COVID-19 vaccine is eligible for a free ride to and from any of the county’s vaccine sites.
The total cost for NCTD-funded locomotives is $53.5 million; the total cost for the Coaster car overhaul project is estimated at $14 million.
The total cost for the SANDAG-funded train sets (2 locomotives, 2 cab cars, 8 coach cars) is $58.8 million.