Thrilled I can now talk about one of the most exciting projects I've worked on in my time at MARTA – the forthcoming all-new CQ400 railcar fleet! A quick🧵about what the project means for riders, and how you can be involved in the design process...
First, some history/background – MARTA currently has 3 generations of railcars: the CQ310s & CQ311s (the tan seat cars) from the 70s/80s and and CQ312s (blue seats) from the early 00s. With the earliest cars now 4 decades old, it's time to start replacing them with all-new ones.
In November 2019, the MARTA Board approved a $646 million agreement with Stadler Rail to purchase 254 new railcars. The new 'CQ400' cars are scheduled to be delivered beginning in 2023, eventually replacing the entire fleet.
The existing cars (all 3 generations) share the same basic design: two-car "married pairs" with an operator cab at each end. A downside here is limited movement between cars, and less efficient use of space (e.g. a 4-car train has 3 unused cabs).
A big innovation in the MARTA CQ400 fleet is moving from the closed-pair concept to an "open gangway" design. New 4-car trainsets will feel like a single 300-ft-long car, opening up more space for riders and improving circulation throughout the train.
In addition to the open gangway design, MARTA is looking at various other enhancements – improved ADA accommodations, advanced onboard digital displays, dedicated bike/stroller areas, and new seating configurations. And this is where we need your input!
MARTA has set up a public engagement website where anyone can view, vote, and comment on various design ideas across seven different categories. Please visit, and make your voice heard: itsmarta.com/yourride.aspx
(Disclaimer: the renderings in this thread, and on the public input site, are preliminary concepts and subject to change – including in response to feedback received!)
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