Train cars – Type 2 and Type 3

Question: What are the different types of train cars on MAX? Part 2 (and 3)

I suppose this can be considered parts 2 and 3, as the Type 2 and Type 3 rail cars are very similar.  As far as passengers are concerned, the differences are cosmetic, so for that reason, both types of cars are described together below.

Type 2 – cars 201 through 252

Set of 2s at SunsetType 2, Exterior (two Type 2s from above, with old paint job)

Type 2, 6th & MontgomeryType 2, Exterior (full body advertisements)

Gunter Ernst 205There are more of these than any other in the fleet – 52 altogether. These were the first low-floor cars in the US, manufactured by Siemens and delivered to coincide with the opening of the westside alignment, with Car 205 (designated the Gunter Ernst car) being the first that was delivered. Car 201 has a dedication plaque as well for the Level Boarding Advisory Committee and the Committee on Accessible Transportation.

Each Type 2 car has two cabs, one in each end, and they are sometimes used in service as a single-car train. They have a raised upper deck by each of the cabs, and the sideways-facing seats in the middle of the train (called the C-section, though it has nothing to do with babies) are slightly higher, presumably to have room for the wheels, brakes, and sanding tubes underneath. Unlike the Type 1s which have a lot going on (mechanically speaking) underneath the train, the Type 2s moved basically anything that isn’t related to the wheels, brakes, or sanders to the roof of the train so that the floor of the train is on platform level.

Type 3 – cars 301 through 327

Also manufactured by Siemens, these were introduced in 2003 to coincide with the opening of the Yellow Line alignment. Structure-wise, these low-floor cars look almost identical to the Type 2 cars, but will always have the new TriMet color scheme (whereas only one of the Type 2s does), and advertisements are limited to a small part of the outer design.

Type 3 nightType 3 Exterior at night

Car 304Type 3 Exterior – Car 304 haunts me. I don’t know why, but I see/have been in this car more than any other. I’d be nearly convinced there was more than one 304 in the fleet if I didn’t know for certain otherwise.

Car 325Car 325, my favorite car in the system
(what, doesn’t everyone have a favorite train car? Hmm.)

There are a couple of external differences between the type 2 and the type 3, the most obvious being the mirrors:

Type 2 MirrorType 2 mirror – must be manually adjusted by the operator

Type 3 MirrorType 3 mirror – in two parts, both of which can be automatically adjusted by the operator

Type 3 & 2 MirrorsCoupled Type 2 and Type 3 mirror comparison (Type 3 mirror on left)

From a passenger’s standpoint, Type 3s are essentially identical to the Type 2s.

Type 3 InteriorType 3, Interior from the upper deck

In the passenger area, the seat backs are higher in a Type 3 than in a Type 2 but the layout is the same. I can think of one other very minor difference that you’ll see in a Type 3 that isn’t in a Type 2 but it’s nothing passengers will ever need to concern themselves with, so basically you can consider the passenger interiors identical.

This is a Type 2:Type 2

This is a Type 3:Type 3

Can you spot the difference, not counting the height of the seat backs? Told you it was irrelevant to passengers! It has to do with the brakes.

Up next, the new Type 4s!

8 responses to “Train cars – Type 2 and Type 3

  1. This is a great series!
    I don’t recall any other blog being quite so informative!

    • Thank you! I have a ridiculous amount of photos of the trains and the alignment that I haven’t really done anything with over the last few years. It’s interesting to me though, and if by posting it someone else finds it interesting too, so much the better.

  2. nope not gonna do it

    Also, the type 2 cars were delivered in two different batches. Cars 201-247 arrived first, and then TriMet exercised an option to purchase 248-252 at the eleventh hour.

  3. I noticed two minor differences –

    1) there are a couple more screws on the box for the sand (in the type 3) below the seat in the center of the picture and
    2)there are some holes above the doors in the type 3 that isn’t in the type 2

    Does the difference have anything to do with those??


    • Good eye above the door – I didn’t even think of that one, but you’re right. In the 3s, those are the passenger counters (I think, anyway, that’s not something operations deals with so I only vaguely know about those).

      But what I was going for were the extra rivets in that box – it’s not a sand box, it’s the hydraulic pump for the friction brakes, the handle of which is riveted to the door for the pump in a Type 3, but located in the tool compartment in the C-section of a Type 2. It’s something a passenger will never even see unless a friction brake needs to be pumped off, which as a passenger I’d only ever seen happen once so it’s not incredibly common. I think we do it far more in training than it actually happens in service!

  4. Oh, good to know! :)

    Just so you know, I LOVE this blog – thanks for starting it!

    And just for future reference, where are the passenger counters in the 2s?


  5. Pingback: August 31, 1997: Low-Floor MAX Cars Debut, Two New Stations Open

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