Juarez during rush hour is an uninterrupted stream of people running through Guadalajara’s central underground station. Passengers arrive from every direction, over bridges, down stairs and escalators, all crowding together on the platforms. The trains of the Tren Ligero light rail system arrive at intervals of a few minutes, allowing passengers to alight and others to board.
Like many other cities, Guadalajara has committed itself to meeting mobility demand by expanding public mass transit with efficient rail systems. Bombardier Transportation has been one of the Mexican mass transit company SITEUR’s (Sistema de Tren Eléctrico Urbano), key partners since its launch in the 1980s.
Each year, around 90 million people use this light rail system.
To meet this need, Guadalajara’s Line 1 started operating in 1989. While this line served the city in the north-south direction, it was followed in 1994 by Line 2, running from the centre to the eastern part of the city. Together, the two lines are 24 kilometres long and have 19 stations, the majority of which are below ground.
The network is set to grow along with the number of passengers and, once complete, a new 21 kilometre long Line 3 will cross the city diagonally from north-west to south-east. Lines 4 and 5 are still in the planning stage.
There is also an ongoing project to modernize the 30-year-old system on Line 1 and extend it by another kilometre. On September 22, at a ceremony marking the national “Day Without Cars”, Jalisco Governor Jalisco, Aristóteles Sandoval inaugurated the first new train for Line 1, stating the modernization should be complete by the spring of 2018. When complete, Bombardier’s new fleet of 12 TEG-15 trains will operate there.
Another important technical detail: the new TEG 15 trains are fully compatible with the TEG 90 vehicles delivered in previous years. That is a decisive factor for SITEUR in view of the growing demand. General Director Guadalajara emphasizes “These twelve trains will allow us to meet that growing urban transport demand with greater capacity and more efficiency. Also, the modernization of Line 1 project goes hand-in-hand with the Line 3 project. At the end of the day, this will allow us to have a mass transport system that integrates into other means of transport. The expansion and modernization project will enable us to improve service, with higher quality and the capacity to move more users.” Up to now, it has only been possible to couple two vehicle units to form four-coach trains for a maximum of 600 passengers. In the future, six-coach trains with a capacity of 900 passengers will also be operated.